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KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 






488 Seventh Avenue 
New York, N. Y. 

Copyright, 1924, by 

Monox Picture, Foreign, and Aix 
Other Rights Reserved 

Printed in U.S. A. 



To My Mother, Sarah Ann (McClel- 
lan) Davis, and the Other Southern 
Women Who Designed and Manu- 
factured with Their Own Fingers the Re- 
galia for the Ku Klux Klansmen and the 
Trappings for Their Horses, and to the 
Ku Klux Klan 1865-1877 Both the Liv- 
ing and the Dead, This History Is Grate* 
fully Dedicated. 


The purpose of the "Authentic History Ku Klux 
Klan, 1865-1877," is in justification of the men and 
measures adopted which led to the redemption of the 
Southern States from Radical, Carpet-bag and Negro 
rule as was imposed by the Federal Government's 
reconstruction measures upon them after the surren- 
der of the Confederate States Army at Appomatox 
Court House, Virginia, 1865. 

Ex-President Woodrow Wilson said in the Atlan- 
tic Monthly, January, 1901, in an article, "The Re- 
construction of the Southern States": "Reconstruc- 
tion is still revolutionary matter. Those who delve 
in it find it like a banked fire, still hot and fiery 
within, for all it has lain under the ashes a whole 
generation ; and a thing to take fire from. It is hard 
to construct an argument here which shall not be 
heated, a source of passion no less than of light. . . . 
The revolution lies there as natural as it was re- 
markable and full of prophecy. It is this which 
makes the whole period of reconstruction so peculiarly 
worthy of our study. Every step of the policy, every 
feature of the time which wrought this subtle trans- 
formation, should receive our careful scrutiny. We 
are now far enough removed from the time to make 
that scrutiny both close and dispassionate. A new 
age gives it new significance." 



I realize that the period covering reconstruction 
and reestablishing white supremacy in the States 
which seceded from the United States in 1861 is a 
"sleeping volcano and a Vesuvius at rest," but it is 
not my intention to start a conflagration, rather to 
throw enough light on the Ku Klux Klan of that 
period to justify their mysterious movements in that 
momentous time by which they steadied the hatred, 
passion and injustice heaped upon an overpowered 
but brave and loyal people who had lost all except 
their honor and their faith in God during the Civil 

With their own Government and the remainder of 
the world against them the Ku Klux Klan raised the 
South Phoenix-like from her ashes, and in the re- 
building caught "the sunshine of forgiveness in the 
brick and mortar," the immortal words of Henry 

Although many things are still "invisible" about 
the Ku Klux Klan one thing is very plain; that is, 
that they have been so unjustly misrepresented by 
would-be historians and "investigators," I have un- 
dertaken the task of correcting these false impressions 
so far as lies in my power. 

Having known personally many of the original 
Ku Klux Klan and gleaned from them, though re- 
luctantly, facts stated in this book, I have also in- 
cluded documentary evidence setting forth the 
causes which were conducive to the life and strength 
of this powerful Order. 

A vast amount of research work has been done to 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 vii 

confirm the statements here laid down, representing as 
they do a glowing tribute to the lofty principles and 
heroic chivalry of the Ku Klux Klansmen of the "In- 
visible Empire" who stood ever ready to see justice 
done to black and white, high and low, and above all 
to protect the womanhood of the country and to se- 
cure for their children and their children's children 
contentment and happiness in the land we love. 

In the collection of illustrations for this book I de- 
sire to extend my thanks to Mrs. Stella G. Hawkins, 
Mr. and Mrs. H. H. K. Jefferson, Margaret Wallace 
(Mrs. Victor Gage), Margaret Gage (Mrs. Morris 
W. Bush), Birmingham, Ala., Marie Bankhead 
(Mrs. Thomas M. Owen), State Historian of Ala- 
bama, and her assistant Miss V. Baxter, Bessie Collins 
(Mrs. John R. Moore), Montgomery, Ala. 

Mr. William B. A. Taylor (Public Library), Dr. 
and Mrs. Henry Gaines Hawn, Mrs. Phoebe Hawn 
Northrop, Miss Jane Northrop (My Mascot), Mrs. 
James Henry Parker, Mrs. F. G. Burke, Miss 
Leila Usher, Mr. and Mrs. William P. Hamann 
and Mr. and Mrs. Pendleton Watson, New York 

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Lloyd Seaton, Sadie Ford 
(Mrs. Walter Edward Hutton), Mr. William Alex- 
ander Miller (Library of Congress), Mr. L. C. 
Handy (Artist), Captain Fred Beall, Colonel Lee 
Crandall and Mr. Benjamin Carter, Washington* 
D. C. 

Miss Mary Mason, Judge James E. Horton, Jr., 
Anna Hobbs (Mrs. James E. Horton, Jr.). The 


late Mr. Thomas Maclin Hobbs, Mr. William Cass 
Nichols (husband of my sister, Paxie Davis), Mr. 
James H. Gordon, Officer of the United Confeder- 
ate Veterans' Camp. Miss Mary MeClellan, and my 
sister, Miss Ann Richardson Davis, Athens, Ala- 

I am greatly indebted to Miss Edith Pope of the 
Confederate Veteran of Nashville, Tennessee, for 
the loan of several portraits of members of the Ku 
Klux Klan (1865-1877) and other courtesies, and 
to the late Colonel Sumner A. Cunningham 
(Founder of the Confederate Veteran), and to Mrs. 
John Harwood and Miss Cynthia Carter, Pulaski, 

I wish especially to acknowledge my appreciation 
of the marvelous illustration and painstaking exe- 
cution of the Ku Klux Klansman of 1865-1877 on 
the cover of the book drawn from my description by 
the great American cartoonist, Mr. C. K. Berryman 
(a native Kentuckian), and for the outlined portrait 
of President Harding within the tribute paid by him 
to the Confederate Veterans, which was engrossed 
for this history by Mr. Samuel James Pridgen of 
Atlanta, Georgia, to whom I am greatly indebted. 

Susan Lawrence Davis, 
Athens, Alabama. 



I Introductory 1 

II Tennessee. Pulaski Ku Klux Klan Organized 6 

III Alabama. Athens Ku Klux Klan Organized . 35 

IV The First Convention, Ku Klux Klan, Nash- 

ville, Tennessee, May, 1867 80 

V Fourth of July Parades 96 

VI Tennessee Anti-Ku Klux Klan Law . . . 109 

VII President Johnson's Policy 129 

VIII The Federal Ku Klux Acts 144? 

IX The Union League of America . . . . . 171 

X Conditions from 1870-1877 180 

XI The "Invisible Empire" — Reconstruction in 

the District of Columbia 192 

XII Virginia 197 

XIII Mississippi 212 

XIV Georgia . . 221 

XV North Carolina 232 

XVI Texas 245 

XVII Missouri 255 

XVIII Arkansas 269 

XIX Florida 278 

XX South Carolina 282 

XXI Louisiana 300 

XXII Close of the Ku Klux Klan 308 




No complete history has been written of the Ku 
Klux Klan, and I am endeavoring to place in this 
volume all the available material that I have gathered 
covering many years. Many of these facts were given 
me by the originators of the Ku Klux Klan at 
Pulaski, Tennessee, and the original members of the 
Ku Klux Klan of Athens, Alabama, the first one 
organized in that state. 

An unfortunate publicity was given the Ku Klux 
Klan in 1884, when Mr. D. L. Wilson who was not 
a Ku Klux, and was a stranger in its birthplace, 
Pulaski, Tenn., became interested in its origin and 
began asking about it. He was so fascinated with 
the recital of the facts that he was told that Captain 
John C. Lester, who was one of the founders of the 
Ku Klux Klan had been requested by the others to 
put in writing for the first time such facts as they 
cared to give out then, regarding the Ku Klux Klan. 

Mr. Wilson requested Captain Lester to allow him 
to see this manuscript in the winter of 1884, and 
offered to assist him in finding a publisher, if he would 
allow him to copyright the work jointly with him. 
Captain Lester was then a member of the Tennessee 
Legislature, and while in Nashville left the details of 


the publication and copyright to Mr. Wilson. Mr. 
Wilson filed the title in the Copyright Office and 
changed the name of the book from "Ku Klux Klan, 
Its Origin, Growth and Disbandment," to "The Rise 
and Fall of the Invisible Empire." He then altered 
the manuscript in such a manner as to express the 
view that the work of the Ku Klux Klan had partially 

With this changed title he submitted it to the man- 
ufacturing company Wheeler, Osborn, and Duck- 
worth, Nashville, Tenn. One of these gentlemen 
happened to be a Ku Klux, and went to Captain Les- 
ter and objected to the title, as he said the Ku Klux 
Klan "had risen but had never fallen." Captain 
Lester then filed the first title he had given the book, 
in the copyright office "Ku Klux Klan, Its Origin, 
Growth and Disbandment." 

Mr. Wilson had distributed quite a number of these 
books but the original Ku Klux Klan at Pulaski re- 
quested Captain Lester to correct the errors and com- 
plete the history, as they attached no blame whatever 
to him for this unfortunate occurrence. Captain Les- 
ter was rewriting a complete history of the Ku Klux 
Klan from 1865 to 1877, inclusive, when his death 
occurred at Alexandria, Term., and many of his notes 
were given me by other Ku Klux and members of 
his family. 

Believing, as the Ku Klux Klan did even in 1884, 
that their mission had been fulfilled, the entire In- 
visible Empire, disapproved of Mr. Wilson's version 
of it, and made an effort to stop the sale of the book. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 3 

While this effort was being made to revise the book, 
Mr. Wilson read an article in the Century Magazine, 
New York, entitled "Mob or Magistrate"; and as a 
contribution to this subject, he sent the Ku Klux 
Klan book to the magazine without the knowledge 
or consent of Captain Lester, and signed it "D. L. 
Wilson." The Century Magazine published this in 
the July number, 1884. 

Editorially, and under "Topics of the Times," 
in the Century Magazine of that date, there was much 
discussion for and against the Ku Klux Klan. 

Mr. Wilson omitted the chapters which Captain 
Lester intended to add to the new edition of the book 
which covered the ostensible disbandment in 1869; and 
this period has been accepted generally as the time 
of the close of the Ku Klux Klan. However, the true 
facts concerning its disbandment, as well as much of 
the material in the following chapters, were given me 
by Capt. John C. Lester, Major James R. Crowe, 
Capt. John B. Kennedy, Judge William Richardson, 
Capt. Robert A. McClellan, Major Robert Donnell, 
Capt. DeWitt Clinton Davis, the wives and daughters 
of many of the original Ku Klux Klan, by my father, 
Colonel Lawrence Ripley Davis, Colonel Sumner A. 
Cunningham and General John B. Gordon, and other 
Ku Klux. 

I have obtained material from the Confederate 
Veteran and from current newspapers, and last but 
not least I have interviewed and obtained first-hand 
information from hundreds of the Ku Klux Klan 
throughout the South, many of whom are still living. 


Having been born and reared and spent most of my 
life within a radius of fifty miles from the birthplace 
of the Ku Klux Klan, the subject has always been 
near to my heart, and I recall the sense of protection 
afforded by the Ku Klux Klan in my childhood. 

The compiling of this data has been one of the 
greatest pleasures of my life, having brought me in 
contact with many of the great men who were the 
leaders of the South during its most perilous history. 
I feel a deep sense of gratitude to the Ku Klux Klan 
and trust this explanation will erase the false im- 
pression that they failed in their purposes. 

In support of this explanation I give the follow- 
ing from the Century Magazine of July 1884, the 
same number in which D. L. Wilson published the 
article on the Ku Klux Klan, which would lead one 
to think that the Ku Klux Klan had at least partially 

Quoting the words of this magazine: * * * * * 
"There is a growing sympathy with the whites of the 
South ***** the whites had great provocation. 
In the same spirit men are beginning to accept the 
success of the Ku Klux Revolution as being in the 
results the inevitable solution of an anomalous polit- 
ical situation. Peace and happiness could never come 
to the South so long as the political lines were co- 
existent with the color lines, with the blacks in the 
ascendency. " 

Captain John C. Lester never married and Mr. 
Wilson and he were both dead when the copyright on 
the Ku Klux Klan book copyrighted by them, ex- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 5 

pired. It was not re-copyrighted by Captain Lester's 
heirs because they knew that the book was not satis- 
factory and was being re-written by Captain Lester 
at his death. In 1905 Mr. Walter L. Flemming 
edited "The Ku Klux Klan; Its Origin, Growth and 
Disbandment," and re-copyrighted it in the name of 
Walter Lynwood Flemming. 

Mr. Flemming was born in Alabama in a country 
quite remote from the origin of the Ku Klux Klan, 
and seems to know very little about the work of the 
Klan ; and certainly added nothing new in his edition 
save a few names of the members of the Ku Klux 
Klan. He chose to retain the erroneous impression 
placed in the manuscript by D. L. Wilson, who stated 
that the Ku Klux Klan disbanded in 1869 instead of 

Captain John C. Lester was born in Giles County, 
Tenn., and died at Alexandria. All dates were de- 
stroyed by fire. He practised law a number of years 
in Sheffield, Ala. He was a Christian gentleman and 
a gallant Confederate soldier. He originated the 
idea of the Klub which afterwards became the Ku 
Klux Klan. 


%%bXUXV^ JOf ®0tXgt:e30 r t* wit: 

Be it remembered 

77brf on the ^%L&£t&2&L-. —p^d&y of rQrt/tdi/' 18j£l£. 

CjdJ^^^^rJj> y?v r\ A . , ha ^deposited in this Office the title. 

of a -S $ T MH< y ... 

the title op descnpthtyof which is in the follovxng words, to wit: 

M J4 & VM K , ^\ .K rt/r\ y- 

the right whereof 7&co claim as atMer — md proprietor 3 in conformity with the laws of 
the United States respecting Copyrights. 


L&rarUn of Congress 

J hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the original record of copyright. 

§n fcitruss fo^trtof, the seal of this Office has been hereto affixed this ^£&4£d&nJ&L^l 

day of fo/JAAtof- , J9JJl . 

^i^Oi^t^OHkgistn of Coj&right* 

Copprtflbt ©fflce of tbCCtntfeo States of amerlca, 
TOasbington, E>. c. 

(DK, 1622—100) 






August 11,. 1923. 

Dear Madams 

Search hae been made in accordance with your request and 

we find the registrations shown as follows. In one caee as noted 

copies were received. In the other case we have not found in your 

records mention of deposit of copies, 

The Rise and Fall of the Indivisible Empire", a History of 
the Origin and Growth of the Ku Klux Klan. No. 5401, 
March 13, 1884, Copyright by D.L» Wilson and John C. 
Lester. No record found of deposit of copies in connection 
with this registration. 

"The Ku Klux Klan, Its Origin, Growth and Disbandment'*. 
No. 11219, June 3, 1884, Copyright by D.L. Wilson and 
John C. Lester, Two copies deposited Oct. 3, 1884. 



Hiss $Ubsh L. Davis, 
1716 Bonn. Ave. , 
Washington, D.C» 

Registerof Copyrights, 
Chief of Correspondence Division , 



On December 24, 1865, at Pulaski, Tennessee, 
there assembled in a small brick building, the law 
office of Judge Thomas M. Jones, six young men 
who were soldiers in the Confederate States Army. 
They had lost all their property, there were no busi- 
ness prospects for them at the time ; it was Christmas 
Eve and their town was saddened not only by the 
wreckage of Civil War, but by the visitation of a 
cyclone which had killed and injured many of its 
inhabitants and destroyed many homes; yet, the 
spirit of youth could not be conquered in their heroic 
hearts. One of these young men, Captain John C. 
Lester, said: 

"Boys, let's start something to break this mo- 
notony, and to cheer up our mothers and the girls. 
Let's start a club of some kind." 

The evening was spent in obtaining their object — 
diversion and amusement. Two committees were ap- 
pointed to select a name and to prepare a set of rules 
for the government of the order and the initiation of 
future members. They then adjourned to meet the 
following week. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 7 

Before the arrival of the next meeting one of the 
young men, Captain John B. Kennedy, was requested 
to stay in the home of Col. Thomas Martin, for its 
protection, while he and his family were absent from 
Pulaski. Captain Kennedy invited the other organ- 
izers of the club, Frank O. McCord, Calvin E. Jones, 
John C. Lester, Richard R. Reed and James R. 
Crowe, to meet him there. 

During the evening the organization was per- 
fected. Captain John B. Kennedy, on the committee 
to select a name mentioned one which he had con- 
sidered, "Kukloi," from the Greek word "Kuklos," 
meaning a band or circle. James R. Crowe said "Call 
it Ku Klux," and no one will know what it means. 
John C. Lester said: "Add Klan as we are all 
Scotch-Irish descent." 

He then repeated the words: "Ku Klux Klan," the 
first time these words ever fell from human tongue. 
The weirdness of the alliteration appealed to the mys- 
terious within them ; so the name was adopted with a 
feeling that they had chosen something which would 
excite the curiosity of their friends and carry out their 
idea of amusement, which, most unexpectedly to 
them, proved a boon to Pulaski and the South. 

James R. Crowe suggested to make it more mys- 
terious, that a costume be adopted. They then made 
a raid upon Mrs. Martin's linen closet and robed 
themselves with boyish glee in her stiff linen sheets 
and pillow-cases, as masquerading was a popular 
form of entertainment in those days. Wishing to 


make an impression they borrowed some horses from 
a near-by stable and disguised them with sheets. 

They then mounted and rode through the darkness, 
calling at the homes of their mothers and sweethearts, 
without speaking a word. They rode slowly through 
the streets of Pulaski waving to the people and mak- 
ing grotesque gestures, which created merriment to 
the unsuperstitious, and to the superstitious, great 

The next day they heard many favorable comments 
on the unknown boys who had so paraded, having 
optimism enough to penetrate the gloom which had 
settled over this once prosperous and happy commun- 
ity. Aside from the amusement they had created, it 
was reported on the streets, that many of the idle 
negroes thought they had seen ghosts from the near- 
by battle-fields, and had with haste gone back to their 
former masters, only too willing to work. 

The trivial incident of the selection of the ghostly 
regalia had a most important bearing on the future 
of the organization. The potency of the name "Ku 
Klux Klan" was not wholly in the impression made 
by it on the public, but the members of the Ku Klux 
Klan themselves first felt its mysterious power, and 
realized that through this means they might accom- 
plish something towards alleviating the distress then 
prevalent in their community. Yet their dominant 
idea was amusement, based on secrecy and mystery. 

The one obligation exacted from members was to 
maintain profound secrecy concerning everything 
pertaining to the Ku Klux Klan. This obligation 

KIT KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 9 

prohibited disclosing that they were members of the 
Ku Klux Klan or giving the name of anyone of them 
who was a member, and from soliciting members. 

This was exacted first, because of their determina- 
tion to play upon the curiosity of the public; sec- 
ondly, it was designed to prevent any responsibility 
resting on them following the initiation of new mem- 
bers. They desired new members and knew human 
nature well enough to feel that if they made the im- 
pression that they were very exclusive and select, 
applications for membership would be numerous. 

This idea proved to be true. One ruse to arouse 
the interest of desired applicants was to say to them 
"I'm going to join the Ku Klux." If the person ad- 
dressed showed a desire to join, the member would 
say, "I think I know how to get you in if you will 
meet me at the home of Col. Martin where I am 
staying for its protection in his absence" — and they 
would then set the hour. Many hundreds were ini- 
tiated into the Ku Klux Klan in this residence from 
January until March, 1866, and it was here that the 
organization was perfected. 

On March 25, 1866, the Ku Klux Klan having in- 
creased in numbers, so that they did not wish to meet 
in the private residence, they established regular head- 
quarters at the home of Dr. Ben. Carter which 
had been recently wrecked by the cyclone, leaving 
only three rooms and a large cellar beneath them. 

This was on a hill on the outskirts of Pulaski. 
Around the ruins of this home were the storm-torn 
trunks of trees which had once been a splendid grove. 


Now they were like grim, spectre sentinels, making 
a dreary, desolate uncanny place, but it was most 
suitable for the purpose of the Ku Klux Klan as it 
had the appearance of being haunted and they were 
by the superstitious believed to be the spirits of the 
Confederate dead. 

This mystery and secrecy of the Ku Klux Klan 
made a deep impression upon the minds of many men 
who united with it at this time, and their idea was that 
they contemplated some great and important mission. 
This belief caused its rapid growth, though there was 
not a word in the obligation taken to point out such a 
conclusion, but the impression grew and the high- 
sounding titles of the officers and the grotesque dress 
of its members seemed to them to mean more than 
mere sport. 

The Committee on Rules had determined that no 
military or political titles should be used, and their 
recommendations were adopted to carry out the idea 
of the name and the regalia by mysterious and mean- 
ingless titles. So the following officers' names were 
adopted: Grand Cyclops, Grand Magi, Grand Turk, 
Grand Scribe, Lictors, and Night Hawks. The 
name of the meeting-place was called "The Den." 
The two Lictors were the outer guards of the Den 
and the Night Hawks were the couriers. The mem- 
bers were called Ghouls. 

When a meeting was held one Lictor was stationed 
near the remains of the house on Carter Hill, where 
there was a cellar used for initiation. The other Lic- 
tor was placed some distance away, on the road lead- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 11 

ing into Pulaski. They were dressed in the regalia 
of the Ku Klux Klan and bore spears as their badge 
of office. 

Through curiosity many men came to this Hill and 
approached the Lictors for membership. The Lictors 
would blow the whistles which had been adopted as 
a means of communication and the Night Hawks 
would answer with their whistles and take charge of 
the candidate, blindfold him and take him into the 

He would then be led around the subterranean 
rooms and treated to some rough sport after which 
he would be taken before the Grand Cyclops, who 
was Mr. Frank O. McCord, and many questions put 
to him. Often an unsatisfactory answer would cause 
him to be rejected. If accepted the Grand Cyclops 
would say: "Place him before the royal altar and 
adorn his head with the regal crown." 

The oath would then be administered. The royal 
altar was a large mirror, and the regal crown was 
an old torn hat bedecked with donkey ears. 

The Grand Turk would then remove the bandage 
from his eyes and the candidate would see his comical 
image in the mirror. Then the Grand Cyclops would 
relax his rules and the hitherto silent Den would ring 
with shouts and peals of laughter of the Ku Klux 
still in their disguise. 

When a man too young applied the Lictors would 
tell him that he could not join. But when he per- 
sisted, he would be blindfolded and left seated on a 
fallen tree, to wait; after many patient hours he 


would remove the bandage in desperation and seek 
the shelter of his home. 

When men of undesirable character applied they 
would be taken to the top of the hill that rises by a 
gentle slope on the northern limits of Pulaski, 
placed in a barrel and sent whirling down the hill. It 
is needless to say that they did not learn any of the 
Ku Klux Klan's secrets, as had been their original 

The following is a statement of the Ku Klux Oath 
given me by Major Robert Donnell who was Grand 
Scribe of the Athens, Alabama Ku Klux Klan. He 
recited it from memory: 

The Ku Klux Oath: 

"I have applied for membership in the Ku Klux 
Klan of my own free will, and in the presence of God 
do solemnly swear that I will never reveal to any one 
any intimation of the signs, symbols, passwords, grips 
or secrets of the Ku Klux Klan. I shall never reveal 
to any one that I am a member of the Ku Klux Klan 
or that I know anyone who is a member. 

"If for any cause whatever I shall withdraw from 
the Ku Klux Klan, I will keep its secrets as invio- 
lately as when I was a member. As a member of the 
Ku Klux Klan I shall not be allowed to take any in- 
toxicating liquor to any meeting of the Den. I 
shall not attend any meeting or go with the Ku Klux 
Klan on any mission when intoxicated. 

"I take the pledge of total abstinence from intoxi- 
cating liquors during the duration of my membership 
in the Ku Klux Klan. Any member of the Ku Klux 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 13 

Klan shall be expelled for violating this rule by a 
majority vote of the officers and Ghouls of the Den 
to which he belongs, and his banishment shall be 

The grip, passwords and ciphers of the Ku Klux 
Klan remain wrapped in mystery to this day, as I 
have asked many hundreds of them for this informa- 
tion and have received the answer that those points 
regarding the Ku Klux Klan would die with them. 

The following gives the duties of tlie officers, as 
adopted by the first organization. 

It shall be the duty of the Grand Cyclops to take 
charge of the Den at meetings and initiate new mem- 
bers. It shall be his duty to appoint regular meetings 
of the Den and to call irregular meetings when 
needed. He alone can initiate candidates for mem- 
bership, and reprimand members for disobedience of 
orders. The first Grand Cyclops was Frank O. 

The Grand Magi: It shall be the duty of the Grand 
Magi to assist the Grand Cyclops and to obey all 
orders of this officer; and to preside at all meetings 
in the absence of the Grand Cyclops. The Grand 
Magi of the first Den was Captain John B. Kennedy. 

Grand Turk: It shall be the duty of the Grand 
Turk to notify the Ghouls of all irregular meetings 
of the Den, when so directed by the Grand Cyclops 
or his substitute. It shall be his duty to meet and 
question at the out-post all candidates for admission 
to the Ku Klux Klan and he shall blindfold the can- 


didate, administer the preliminary Oath, then to con- 
duct such candidate to the Lictor, who in turn, takes 
the candidate into the presence of the Grand Cyclops 
for the final initiation. The Grand Turk of the first 
Den was Major James It. Crowe. 

Grand Scribe: It shall be the duty of the Grand 
Scribe to take the orders of the Grand Cyclops, and 
deliver them orally to the Lictors who will deliver 
these orders to the Night Hawks to be taken to 
officers of other Dens. It shall further be the duty 
of the Scribe to keep a secret list of the members of 
the Den, to call the roll at all meetings, and to investi- 
gate the absence of members of the Ku Klux Klan. 
The duty of the Night Hawks was to communicate 
orally all orders given between Dens. 

The Lictors were Mr. Richard R. Reed and Dr. 
Frank Grant for the first Den. 

During the entire period of the Ku Klux Klan's 
existence, Carter Hill was the central seat of author- 
ity, and one or more of the officers who assisted 
General Nathan B. Forrest, were chosen from the 
six men who originated the Ku Klux Klan. Captain 
John C. Lester was the judicial officer, or Night 
Hawk, who would administer the oath to new mem- 
bers, and Mr. Calvin E. Jones, Night Hawk, who in- 
vestigated the record of applicants. 

The Ku Klux Klan had gradually realized that the 
most powerful devices ever constructed for control- 
ling the ignorant and superstitious negroes and car- 
pet-bag politicians, were in their hands. Each day 
some incident occurred to show the "amazing power 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 15 

of the mysterious over the minds of all classes." 
These circumstances convinced them that the meas- 
ures inaugurated for sport only could be used to pro- 
tect the lives and property of the people of the 
stricken South. 

By a "gentlemen's agreement" throughout the 
South, no Ku Klux Klans were formed without the 
consent and co-operation of the six founders who 
originated the idea, at Pulaski, Tennessee. 

At this time most of the eligible men in the town 
of Pulaski had joined the Ku Klux Klan there, and 
quite a number from Giles County. Requests were 
made by these county members to form Klans in their 
immediate neighborhoods, and while no provision had 
been made for this expansion, permission was granted, 
but the strictest injunctions were laid on these men as 
regards secrecy, mystery, and the high character of 
the men admitted. 

The growth in the country districts was very rapid, 
and the news that the Ku Klux Klan was growing in 
numbers, created more sensation than the existence 
of the Klan itself in Pulaski. 

After the County was organized, parades were fre- 
quent, and in their disguises, the Ku Klux Klan 
would attend meetings being held by the "Carpet- 
baggers" to incite the negroes and other evil-doers to 
depredations, and they would circle around these 
meetings without uttering a word and only making 
signs, always carrying a torch to light the way which 
afterwards led to the adoption of the Fiery Cross as 
their symbol. 


The first use of the torch to guide the way was by 
the Pulaski Ku Klux Klan when they went to break 
up a meeting of carpet-baggers being held in the 
woods near the "Brick Church" in Giles County. 
The carpet-baggers were telling the negroes to burn 
the homes of their former masters and the land would 
be divided among them. 

One faithful negro man was passing this meeting 
with a sack of meal on his mule taking it to his former 
master, whom he had never left, and heard the carpet- 
baggers call the name of his beloved "marster and 
mistis" as among the victims to be burned alive in 
their homes that night. He hurried home and told his 
young master, who was then a member of the Ku 
Klux Klan, what he had heard. 

He left the old negro man to protect his father and 
mother with the only gun that he had, and hastened to 
Pulaski where he called together the Ku Klux Klan. 

They rode into the meeting from every direction, 
and so frightened both the negroes and carpet-bag- 
gers that they did not stand "on the order of their 
going," but fled in haste. 

They heard of other meetings of like character and 
spent the rest of the night breaking them up. 

The next day many negroes who would not work 
were found at the plantation gates, appealing for 
work and protection. 

Captain John Booker Kennedy, one of the six 
originators of the Ku Klux Klan, was born Nov. 6, 
1841, on the beautiful "Kennedy Farm," Wales, 
Giles County, Tennessee. He was the eldest son of 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 17 

John and Patsy Kennedy of distinguished Kentucky 
lineage. When he was eight years of age his father 
died and two years later his frail gentle mother passed 
away, leaving her children to be reared by an aunt. 

The father left a fine estate which was managed by 
a guardian. Mr. Kennedy attended school in Pulaski 
and Center College, Danville, Kentucky. Returning 
from college in May 1861, he became a soldier of 
the Southern Confederacy enlisting in Company A, 
Third Tennessee. 

He bore his part bravely in all the battles, hard- 
ships and imprisonment his regiment endured in the 
four years' struggle. His regiment was in the sur- 
render of Fort Donelson, and after seven months im- 
prisonment in Camp Douglas he was exchanged at 
Vicksburg Sept. 16, 1862. 

He was conspicuous for gallantry in several of the 
many conflicts of the War, distinguishing himself by 
undaunted courage and adherence to his high ideal 
of duty. He was wounded three times. In February 
1865, he was captured with a scouting party and kept 
under guard until March 17, when he ran away from 
the guards while they were shooting at him. 

Traveling by night he made his way back to his 
regiment. One night while making his way back he 
ate supper with an old negro and his wife. He told 
them he was a Confederate soldier and they directed 
him how to avoid the Federals. He was in the last 
battle of the Confederacy at Bentonville, N. C, and 
was paroled at Greensboro, N. C. 


Wrapping the bullet-torn, blood-stained flag under 
his clothing he marched from Greensboro to his home 
in Tennessee with his feet bleeding and torn, his shoes 
having been worn out, where he gave the flag to Mrs. 
Calvin H. Walker, widow of the Colonel of the Third 
Tennessee, who was killed in the battle of Bentonville. 
This historic flag draped the casket within which his 
grey-clad form lay in its last sleep when he passed 
away on February 13, 1913, which was a fitting trib- 
ute from the family of Colonel Walker. 

At the close of the Civil War Captain Kennedy 
took a very important part in the rebuilding of his 
desolated state. He was one of the original six Con- 
federate soldiers who organized the famous Ku Klux 
Klan in Pulaski, and helped to name this weird and 
mystic Order, which proved the salvation of the 
Southland in the dark hours of reconstruction and 
he was the last of the original six to pass away. 

He was married to Alice McClain of Lawrence- 
burg, Tenn., who was the pride and joy of his young 
manhood and the comfort and solace of his declining 
years. They had one son, Joseph McClain Kennedy, 
who became a brilliant physician and whose early 
death was a crushing blow to his parents. 

Captain Kennedy creditably held the office of- 
Circuit Court Clerk of Lawrence County, Tenn., for 
twenty-two years. For fourteen years he was Secre- 
tary of Mimosa Lodge, F. and A. M. He was a 
member of Frank Cheatham Bivouac, United Con- 
federate Veterans, Nashville, Tenn. Mrs. Kennedy 
is now residing in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 19 

Major James R. Crowe was one of the most dis- 
tinguished men of the six who founded the Ku Klux 
Klan. He was born January 29, 1838, in Pulaski, 
Tenn., to which place he returned after the War and 
for many years was a prominent factor in the busi- 
ness and political life of Tennessee. 

Naturally a leader, he held front rank in any body 
of men to which it was his fortune to be thrown. He 
was a Confederate soldier, having enlisted at Marion, 
Ala., a few hours after Alabama seceded from the 
Union, and was a member of Company G in the cele- 
brated Fourth Alabama Regiment. 

He was attending school at the Marion Military 
Institute at that time. He was severely wounded in 
the first battle of Manassas, and was taken to Char- 
lottsville, Va., and later to his home in Pulaski where 
he was expected to die. He was then discharged 
from the army but would not accept. In November, 
1861, he was appointed Drill Master as the Govern- 
ment refused to accept him in the ranks on account of 
his physical condition. 

He was assigned to duty in the 53rd Tennessee 
Regiment at Camp Weakley, Nashville. This regi- 
ment was ordered to Fort Donelson, and he partici- 
pated in that battle with his arm in a sling. Being 
unable to load Private Charles Scoggins would load 
and he would fire both guns. He afterwards walked 
to Shiloh and participated in the second day's battle. 
Retreating with the army to Corinth he was sent in 
charge of hundreds of prisoners to Tuscaloosa, 


In May, 1862, he was assigned to duty with the 
35th Tennessee Infantry under Col. B. J. Hill. Col. 
Hill ordered Captain Crowe's company of sharp- 
shooters forward and said, "Crowe, deploy your men, 
go to the right oblique, and unmask our regiment. I 
want you to be the first man to reach the Shelton 

He obeyed the order to the letter and engaged the 
enemy while the regiment came on rapidly behind. 
Captain Crowe said that in all the battles in which he 
was engaged he never knew such rapid and heavy fir- 
ing; he lost more than half of his men. General 
G. T. Beauregard issued a special order in tribute 
to his regiment for gallantry on the field. 

Captain Crowe surrendered in Memphis on June 
16, 1865. No soldier in the service served longer than 
he, as shown by the dates of his enlistment and sur- 
render. He was Colonel on General Harrison's Staff 
of Confederate Veterans and also Colonel on the staff 
of all the Commanders in Chief (United Confederate 

As a Mason, Major Crowe attained the rank of 
Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council 
of Tennessee, in 1886. He was a member of the 
Cumberland Presbyterian Church and was active in 
all its councils. Major Crowe removed from Pulaski 
to Sheffield, Alabama, when that town was founded 
in 1880, where he became a very progressive citizen 
and acquired large interests. 

His death occurred there on July 14, 1911, and 
brought great sorrow to that community which held 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 21 

him in the highest esteem. He was laid to rest in 
Pulaski, Tenn., July 16, 1911, by his old comrades 
with their impressive burial service. Major Crowe 
was survived by his wife, three daughters, Mrs. 
Charles J. Alleyn, Mrs. John W. Alleyn, Mrs. Lou 
P. McFarland, and one son, James R. Crowe, Jr., 
who enlisted in the World War in 1917 and was killed 
overseas in the Air Service in 1918. 

Calvin E. Jones, one of the six original Ku Klux 
Klan was a son of Judge Thomas M. Jones. He was 
a lawyer, a member of the Episcopal Church. He 
was Adjutant of the 32nd Tennessee Infantry, Con- 
federate States Army. 

Richard R. Reed, one of the original six Ku Klux 
Klan, was a lawyer in Pulaski, Tennessee. He was 
a member of the Third Tennessee Infantry. He was 
a Presbyterian. 

Frank O. McCord was Grand Cyclops of the orig- 
inal Ku Klux Klan and was editor of the Pulaski 
Citizen. He was a private soldier in the Confederate 
States Army. He was a member of the Methodist 
Church South. 

General John C. Brown, of Pulaski, who was a 
distinguished lawyer, was among the first members 
of the original Ku Klux Klan, and was Grand Dragon 
of the Realm of Tennessee. He was later Gov- 
ernor of Tennessee. Dr. Frank Grant was the 


seventh member of the original Ku Klux Klan, and 
was surgeon of the Den. 


who was (Secret Service Courier) Grand Monk of 
the Ku Klux Klan was born in Bedford County, 
Tennessee, in 1843 and died in Nashville, December 
20, 1913. He lost his father when quite young and was 
reared on a farm by a splendid mother who was his 
inspiration throughout life. He entered the Con- 
federate States Army on November 4, 1861, as a pri- 
vate in Company B, 41st Tennessee Regiment. He 
was so small a boy that his rifle barrel had to be cut off 
so that he could use it more freely. The first battle in 
which he fought was Fort Donelson, (Tennessee) 
where he was captured and put in prison at Camp 
Morton, Indianapolis, Indiana, where he remained 
several months before being exchanged at Vicksburg, 
Mississippi, where he began fighting under General 
Joseph E. Johnson. He was in many famous bat- 
tles, but his most conspicuous bravery was at the 
battle of Franklin, Tennessee, the "Balaklava of 
America," where he was firing on the breastworks, 
using guns being loaded for him by General Strahl 
when he was killed ; and, at the battle of Nashville. 

After the close of the Civil War, he edited the 
Rural Sim at Nashville, Tennessee. He then boughl 
and edited the Chattanooga Times, sold it and wenl 
to Cartersville, Georgia, where he lost his beloved wif t 
in 1879. She was Miss Laura Davis of Georgia, 
son and daughter were born to them and Mary die< 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 23 

in infancy, and Paul lived to magnificent manhood, 
when he was drowned in the Rio Grande river, while 
civil engineering for the United States government in 
surveying the international boundary between the 
United States and Mexico in 1901. This blow sad- 
dened Colonel Cunningham's life but did not em- 
bitter him. He never remarried and had no close 
relatives except one sister, Mrs. Thomas W. Wake- 
field of Cornersville, Tennessee, but he filled his 
life with friends who, loving him, seemed to soften 
his sorrow. It was said that Colonel Cunningham 
knew personally and intimately more people than 
any man in the country. "He was a Southerner; 
he was a Confederate soldier; and then he was a 
servant." These were the words spoken by his pas- 
tor, Mr. Vance, at the time of his death. He said: 
"I think that is the greatest thing the Bible says 
about our Saviour, 'He made himself of no reputa- 
tion and took upon him the form of a servant.' The 
Christian ideal of greatness is servanthood. Colonel 
Cunningham was a servant. He was anybody's 
servant to whom he could render a service. He lived 
his religion. He glorified in service for other people. 
"If he passed an old woman on the street with 
a heavy load, he got his arm under her bundle; and 
I have known him on a wet day to take the overshoes 
off his feet to give to an old and feeble, ragged woman 
to protect her from the weather. You have seen him. 
I have seen him; this was the way he lived. It was 
the greatest thing about this man 'who lived in a 


house by the side of the road and was a friend to 

man.' " 

In 1881 Colonel Cunningham went to New York 
and founded a paper as an exponent of Southern 
sentiment called Our Day but only edited it a few 
years when he returned to Nashville. Later on, he 
participated in the raising of funds for the erection 
of a monument to President Jefferson Davis at 
Richmond, Virginia, and in this work he traveled 
all over the South and met thousands of Confederate 
veterans and their families who were henceforth his 
friends. He personally financed much of this work 
and when his correspondence on this subject became 
so great he could not handle it, he decided to print 
a leaflet setting forth the object of his undertaking. 
In this leaflet he distributed much information con- 
cerning the records of the Confederacy and it seemed 
to be a long-felt want that he had filled for the Con- 
federate soldiers. He later decided to continue this 
leaflet as a medium of communication between the 
veterans of the South and extended it into a maga- 
zine, the Confederate Veteran, which he edited 
and owned until his death, and in his will he left this 
organ to the Confederate Veterans, the Daughters 
of the Confederacy, Sons of Confederate Veterans, 
and Southern Memorial Association. He had two 
supreme objects in life to which he consecrated the 
Confederate Veteran; one was to stand for the "Oh 
South" and to defend its cause against evil tongue! 
and pens. He ruled the phrase the "New South' 
out of his vocabulary and would not use it in the 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 25 

Confederate Veteran. He belonged to the brave and 
gentle "Old South'' for which Lee and Jackson, 
Forrest, Gordon, Johnston, and the Morgans had 
fought and for which thousands of the "flower and 
chivalry" of the manhood of the South made the 
supreme sacrifice. The second was to write the truth 
of history of the War between the States. It was 
with hope rather than with confidence that he 
launched this enterprise, but he was inspired by the 
fact that at that time so few Confederate soldiers, 
even among the Southern leaders, had set down their 
narratives for permanent preservation and that the 
history of the "War between the States" was almost 
altogether written by those on the Northern Side. 
"Recognizing that there were two points of view, he 
still deprecated the idea of the children and the fu- 
ture generations of the South accepting without 
question the views of writers on the Northern side. 
Appreciating the efforts previously made to pre- 
serve the truth as they saw it, he still had other 
views than those carried out and entertained in 
those publications, and believed that the true remedy 
was the gathering up of the multifold experiences 
and observations of the men who had fought in the 
Southern army before these men had passed away, 
leaving no eye witnesses of the events in which they 
had taken part. Both North and South seemed in- 
spired through Colonel Cunningham to present 
views which were less biased and less offensively par- 
tisan than the earlier books. 

"The truth in all things set down," was the aim of 


the Confederate Veteran, and through its influence 
this became more the aim of the writers on both sides. 
It was in the columns of the Confederate Veteran 
that a large part of the wealth of heroic deed and 
courageous achievement was first unearthed from 
forgotten records and from dormant memories. 

The historian of the future who wishes the truth 
about the War between the States will be forced to 
go to the columns of the Confederate Veteran for 
it, for the truthful records of this war from which 
the real history will have to be written can only be 
found within its pages. 

Col. Cunningham was a Southerner; he loved the 
South; "the sunny sunny South." It was always 
that to him. The South was his passion and he loved 
it passionately with every fibre of his being. There 
are some people who might not understand this kind 
of devotion. They think it is narrow and sectional. 
People outside of the South sometimes ask us why 
we who live there have this kind of devotion to 
it. It is because the South has suffered. It takes 
suffering to feel devotion. The people there are 
welded together in the furnace fires of suffering. 
There is a kind of romantic devotion that gathers 
about it like that of the tender mother for her stricken 
child and each Southerner has made every effort to 
preserve this romance. 

Among the many beautiful tributes paid to Col- 
onel Cunningham I quote the following from the 
Tennessee Division, United Daughters of the Con- 
federacy through its committee composed of Miss 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 27 

Susie Gentry, Chairman, Mrs. W. T. Davis, Mrs. 
John P. Hickman, Mrs. S. F. Wilson, Mrs. M. B. 
Dozier, expressing its appreciation of the friendship 
and interest ever shown by the editor of the Con- 
federate Veteran in the work of the United Daugh- 
ters of the Confederacy: "It was his mission to stand 
for the truth in history; and he lived, fought and 
died for it, faithful unto death. It was his pen 
wielded unceasingly and potently for the truth and 
right in the dark days of 'carpet-bag rule' and since 
that largely brought the South into the estate that 
she justly deserves. It was his gentle, kind heart 
that welded the sections of North and South into a 
truer brotherhood, and it was his generous, just mind 
that in his last public act conceived and carried to 
completion the bust of Col. Richard Owen, United 
States Army, and placed it in the capitol of Indiana 
as a token of esteem and honor to a conscientious 
officer and tender-hearted man for the Confederate 
prisoners of war. No other man is known to have done 
a similar act in all the world and it is no wonder that 
he is beloved by all who knew him 'when the fruit of 
the spirit' so exhibited itself in goodness, gentleness 
and loving-kindness and meekness." 

It is difficult to conceive of a higher tribute 
to courtesy and kindness than this act of erecting a 
memorial to a Union soldier who had charge of a 
prison for the Confederates at Camp Morton, In- 
diana. The inscription under the bronze bust in the 
State capitol there tells its own story: 


"Colonel Richard Owen, 

Commandant Camp Morton Prison, 1862. 

Tribute by Confederate prisoners of war and their 

friends for his courtesy and kindness." 

Colonel Cunningham was a Christian; he was an 
elder in the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church 
in Nashville, Tennessee, but he had a kind of re- 
ligion better than creed, the kind of religion that 
overflows all life. He believed that "inasmuch as ye 
have done it unto one of the least of these my breth- 
ren, ye have done it unto me." 

General Bennett H. Young, Commander in 
Chief of the United Confederate Veterans, in his ad- 
dress at the grave when Colonel Cunningham was 
laid to rest on the hillside in Shelbyville, Tennessee, 
beside his mother and children, said: "Out in the 
darkness and gloom of a storm on the Aegean Sea, 
when the waves were tossing a frail craft high in the 
air and lightnings were flashing, showing how impo- 
tent was man when fighting nature's forces, and 
deep-toned thunderings were filling space with their 
terrorizing voices, the sailor, looking up to heaven, 
cried out, 'O Neptune, god of the sea, thou canst 
save me if thou wilt; thou canst destroy me if thou 
wilt; but I shall keep the rudder true.' 'He kept 
the rudder true,' as he knew the right, he always 
dared to do it. He fell with the drums beating and 
the flags waving out on the firing line with no fear in 
his heart. He was with General Patrick Cleburne 
when he fell on the breastworks in the battle of 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 29 

Franklin, who said with his last breath, 'Boys, I am 
dying; fight it out, fight it out.' Our friend fought 
it out and now he rests in peace." 

Colonel Cunningham was a Ku Klux Klan Monk 
of the "Invisible Empire," and in 1912 he told me 
he was beginning to gather the facts of the Ku Klux 
Klan for publication in the Confederate Veteran 
and at that time give me much of the information 
regarding the Ku Klux Klan contained in this his- 
tory. He had previously introduced me to a number 
of the leaders of the Ku Klux Klan, among them 
Major Crowe, Captain Kennedy, of the original Ku 
Klux Klan, General Clement A. Evans, and others 
who were assisting him in accumulating this material. 
He was one of the organizers of the Ku Klux Klan 
in Georgia as he was there at that time and assisted 
General John B. Gordon when he went to South 
Carolina in 1877 to assist in seating the legally 
elected officials there. General Gordon gave me this 
fact for this history. 

It is a matter of deep regret to all Southerners 
that Colonel Cunningham's life was cut off before 
he compiled the most romantic history of all time, 
that of the "Invisible Empire," for to him was due 
much of the success of this great movement in re- 
deeming the South from carpet-bag and negro rule. 
Major James R. Crowe informed me that to Colonel 
Cunningham was entrusted the hazardous work of 
the Ku Klux Klan in Washington, D. C. (1865- 
1877) in obtaining secret information about the 
spurious Ku Klux Klan, which was organized there 


and in which were many of the radical Senators and 
Congressmen. Colonel Cunningham said I could 
make this statement in my history and that he had 
never given this fact to any one and was not in a 
position to do so until he was asked by Major Crowe 
to assist me in gathering material for the "Authentic 
History of the Ku Klux Klan," as there was an 
"unwritten" law of the Ku Klux Klan that no in- 
formation of this kind be published except by the 
consent of the six originators. 

Colonel Cunningham did more than any one else 
to overcome all kinds of unjust prejudice between 
the North and the South. One of his most conspicu- 
ous acts in this regard was in assisting me at St. 
Louis, Missouri, in 1904, at the Convention of the 
United Daughters of the Confederacy in having jus- 
tice done Mrs. Leonora Rogers Schuyler, wife of Dr. 
Livingston Rowe Schuyler of New York City, who 
was unfairly treated before the Convention when she 
offered to establish a scholarship in Columbia Uni- 
versity for the best paper on Southern history. 
Mrs. Schuyler had gained permission to establish 
in that leading college a prize scholarship for the 
study of Southern History from the Southern view- 
point, as a step towards bringing about a more com- 
plete understanding by the country at large of the 
truth of history as it was made in letters of blood 
from 1861 to 1865. The motion was made, as fol- 
lows: "That the United Daughters of the Confed- 
eracy establish an annual scholarship of $100 to be 
paid each year on December 1st for white students 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 31 

only at Teachers' College, Columbia University, 
New York City, for the best essay on subjects per- 
taining to the South's part in the War between the 
States, the United Daughters of the Confederacy 
to appoint the Judges to examine these papers." 
This motion carried at the first session with great en- 
thusiasm but at the next session of the Convention 
a delegate objected to the scholarship on the ground 
that it would go to a college where it was necessary to 
designate "for white students only." There was a 
very heated discussion and Mrs. Schuyler was re- 
quested to withdraw her motion. I wished to help 
her, and conferred with Colonel Cunningham, who 
always attended the Conventions of the United 
Daughters of the Confederacy, and he suggested to 
some of the delegates that they take Mrs. Schuyler's 
part in the discussion and, after doing so, she con- 
sented to postpone the subject for a future Conven- 
tion but would not withdraw her motion. At the 
next annual Convention of the United Daughters 
of the Confederacy, in San Francisco, the motion 
was amended as above and was carried. Mrs. Meade, 
of Virginia, asked the privilege of seconding the mo- 
tion, as her ancestor, Samuel Johnson, was the 
founder and first president of Kings College, now 
Columbia University. Great bitterness was engen- 
dered over this scholarship, as there was a division 
of sentiment among the women because of the neces- 
sity of saying for "white students only." On another 
occasion, when Colonel Cunningham was present, I 
said to one of the delegates who first opposed this 


scholarship at St. Louis that I hoped some day to see 
Mrs. Schuyler President-General of the United 
Daughters of the Confederacy; and great objection 
was raised to this because she married a Northern 
man and had spent most of her mature womanhood 
in New York City. I said to these ladies that that 
was a narrow and unpatriotic view to take of a 
Daughter who was as much entitled as we were to 
that distinction, her father having served both in the 
Confederate Army and Confederate Congress. 
Colonel Cunningham reasoned with these ladies, with 
whom he had great influence, and congratulated me 
on the stand I had taken, and I replied to him that I 
would be glad if he would give me space in the Con- 
federate Veteran, with the view of overcoming such 
prejudice, which he did, allowing me to publish 
Mrs. Schuyler's biography and picture, October, 
1906 {Confederate Veteran), and for many years 
we worked together with the end in view of hav- 
ing this beautiful and graceful Southern woman, 
Mrs. Livingstone Rowe Schuyler, elected Presi- 
dent-General of the National Order, and she was 
elected unanimously at the annual Convention in 
St. Louis, in 1921. Her first work for the United 
Daughters of the Confederacy was the establish- 
ment at Columbia University of this prize scholar- 
ship, and it was the beginning of the educational 
work which is today one of the most important 
branches of the activities of the United Daughters 
of the Confederacy, and we are indebted to Colonel 
Cunningham for this and many instances of break- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 33 

ing down prejudice against Southern women who 
had married Northern men, though it was not un- 
founded on the part of the splendid women who 
remained at the South, suffered all hardships, and 
built up the organization, known as the United 
Daughters of the Confederacy, and aided the Ku 
Klux Klan, for, they were sincere in the belief that at 
some crisis in our history a Southern woman who was 
married to a Northern man would not be in position 
to serve the United Daughters of the Confederacy 
without differing in opinion with her Northern hus- 
band. The gentle spirit of Colonel Cunningham was 
at all times at work on the minds of both the United 
Daughters of the Confederacy and the Confederate 
Veterans, to aid them in establishing a magnanimous 
attitude towards all Northerners, and I feel grateful 
to him for his untiring effort in behalf of Mrs. Liv- 
ingston Howe Schuyler's claim to the office of 
President- General of the United Daughters of the 
Confederacy, which position she now holds, and who 
is the first woman to have the distinction of holding 
this office while residing outside of the Southern 

Colonel Cunningham collected a part of the money 
through the Confederate Veteran for the erection of 
the Sam Davis monument in Nashville, Tennessee, 
1909, on Capitol Hill, superintended its erection, and 
was instrumental in the introduction of Sam Davis 
Day in the patriotic calendar of that State. Only a 
few times in human history has such a hero as Sam 
Davis crossed the horizon of fame, and one of the 


most notable works of Colonel Cunningham was 
rescuing the name of Tennessee's boy hero from 
oblivion. Colonel Cunningham exemplified in his life 
the sentiment, "The bravest are the tenderest; the 
loving are the daring." He was doubtless the most 
widely known man in private life, and many distin- 
guished men and women were his friends. The story 
of Sam Davis's sublime sacrifice and loyalty to duty 
will be just as bright and splendid at the end of thou- 
sands of years as it is today. It should be a great 
uplift to the men and women of all ages to have had 
such a hero in human form; the young Confederate 
soldier who was hanged because he would not betray 
his comrade, and who said: "I would rather die a 
thousand times than betray a friend." Sam Davis was 
a native of Pulaski, Tennessee, where the Ku Klux 
Klan originated, and where his body rests, after 
having been executed there, and this tragedy was 
one of the contributing causes of the Ku Klux Klan 
turning their social club into regulators, for it was 
ever present in the minds of some of them how nar- 
rowly Major James R. Crowe, who was tried with 
Sam Davis, as a spy, came to being hanged with him. 
He was one of the six men who originated the Ku 
Klux Klan. A monument, erected in 1906, now 
stands in the Court House yard of Pulaski, Ten- 
nessee, to Sam Davis. 



The first Ku Klux Klan formed in Alabama was 
at Athens, Limestone County, which adjoins Giles 
County, Tennessee, where the Ku Klux Klan had 
originated, and was succeeding in controlling the 
negroes and carpet-baggers to a great extent. 

In February 1866, Captain John C. Lester, of the 
Pulaski Ku Klux Klan was visiting Athens, Ala- 
bama, and in conversation with Colonel Lawrence 
Ripley Davis of Limestone County, was asked about 
the Ku Klux Klan as its activities had reached the 
ears of Alabama men. 

Captain Lester did not then admit that he was a 
member of the Ku Klux Klan, but said he had heard 
that conditions had become much better in Giles 
County since the advent of a club known by that 
name; and that many idle negoes who had been sup- 
ported by the Freedmen's Bureau were now willing 
and anxious to work. 

Colonel Davis remarked to Captain Lester that 
Athens needed assistance and he would be glad if he 
would find out more about it, and invite the Ku Klux 
Klan to help them. 

Captain Lester returned to Pulaski and obtained 



permission to organize a Ku Klux Klan at Athens, as 
Colonel Davis had applied for membership. 

The immediate necessity for regulation at Athens 
had grown out of the fact that the idea of social 
equality between the whites and negroes had been 
suddenly raised there by white women who had been 
sent from the North to teach the negroes. 

One of these white women was seen driving with a 
negro man on a footing of perfect equality, and it 
aroused the thinking men to consider that steps 
should be taken to maintain their determination that 
there should never be any social equality between the 
races in the South. 

Suffrage had been denied the men of the seceding 
states by the Government at Washington, so legisla- 
tive power to control this was not possible. The 
negro men were enfranchised and the state offices 
were filled with them and carpet-baggers who were 
"the scum that had been thrown to the surface in the 
great Civil War upheaval and which had settled upon 
the South." 

This condition rankled in the hearts of the proud 
Southerners and it was therefore natural that they 
should turn to the source of relief of which they had 
heard only meagre details, the Ku Klux Klan, which 
had to some extent assisted the people of Tennessee. 

Captain John C. Lester returned to Athens with 
permission to administer the Oath of the Ku Klux 
Klan to Col. L. It. Davis and with permission to call 
a meeting and initiate members. Frank O. McCord, 
Grand Cyclops of the Pulaski Ku Klux Klan, came 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 37 

to this meeting which was held at "The Cove," three 
miles from Athens. 

The first officers of the Athens, Ala., Ku Klux 
Klan (No. 2) were Grand Cyclops Dr. Nicholas D. 
Richardson; and the others, Robert A. McClellan, 
Robert Donnell, Fortunatus Wood, Paul L. Jones, 
John B. Floyd, T. J. Cox, Robert Beatty Mason, 
William Richardson, James B. Richardson, W. R. 
Pryor, William Cass Nichols, Thomas Carter, 
Henry J. Pepin and Edwin R. Richardson. 

At this meeting at "The Cove" they discussed 
"white supremacy" and decided they would make it 
the chief business of the Ku Klux Klan. 

A week later the Athens Ku Klux Klan held 
another meeting at "The Cove" and initiated hun- 
dreds of members who were incensed at the bold 
attempt of this white woman from the North to 
associate openly with negro men, thus offending the 
Southern people in their helplessness to legislate 
against such an evil condition. 

"The Cove," the chosen spot for the meetings of 
the Ku Klux Klan, was a natural amphitheatre, then 
studded with thick pines which concealed it from the 
highway, in the center of which there is a deep, ice- 
cold spring. It was decided that they would take the 
negro man who had been associating with this white 
woman, to that spot, and inform him that such con- 
duct should never occur again. 

The negro, having been educated by his former 
master, was shrewd and intelligent, and said to the Ku 
Klux Klan that he was only obeying the white woman 


when he hired the "buggy" and took her to ride 
through the streets of Athens, and said that if they 
would not send him on to the other world from which 
their spirits had returned, "so help me God, I will 
never be seen riding with a white lady again" — and 
that he would tell all the negroes that they must give 
up the idea of social equality in the South, which was 
being taught them by these white women of the North 
who had been sent there ostensibly as missionaries and 
teachers for the negroes. 

The Ku Klux Klan then "baptised" him in the ice- 
cold spring, in the faith of "white supremacy" and 
sent him home through the darkness, shivering and 
cold ; and that he was a man of his word is proved by 
the fact that he convinced the teachers from the North 
that the idea of social equality must be eliminated 
from the minds of the negroes there forever. 

It was at this meeting that the Ku Klux Klan 
formulated the policy of "white supremacy" in the 
South as the work to be done by the Ku Klux Klan 
and they determined that social and political equality 
of the races should never be established in the South- 
ern states. Knowing as they did that the Radicals in- 
tended by enfranchising the negroes, and disfranchis- 
ing the white men, to secure control of the govern- 
ment of the Southern states and meant to upholc 
negro suffrage by military rule — "the Ku Klux Klai 
caused this scheme to fail completely." 
^ Another necessity for regulation by the Ku Klu: 
Klan at Athens grew out of the rumor that the mili- 
tary authorities controlling Alabama, had determinec 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 39 

to force the white citizens of Athens to send their chil- 
dren to a school which had been opened in the Baptist 
Church for the negroes, and was being taught by the 
above-mentioned white woman, who advocated social 
equality of the races, and who had said that the white 
children would be forced by bayonet rule to attend 
this school. 

A military order to this effect had been contem- 
plated by the commanding officer of the United 
States forces in that district, but through the efforts 
of Mrs. Childs, a northern woman, who was at that 
time, principal of the Athens Female Institute, this 
order was never issued. 

Mrs. Childs had been at the head of this Institute 
for many years before the Civil War, it having been 
the second chartered college for women in the world 
(1843) ; and, she had raised it to a high standard of 
efficiency and was highly honored and much beloved 
by the thousands of Southern women who had gradu- 
ated from this school and returned to their homes 
throughout the South to become the leaders of thought 
in their communities. 

During the Civil War, when the Fair Ground's 
buildings, the Court House, and other public build- 
ings were destroyed by fire by the Federal soldiers, 
Mrs. Childs appealed to them as a Northern woman 
to spare the handsome school building of the Athens 
Female Institute, and it is still one of the most beau- 
tiful school buildings for young women in the United 

Many buildings have been added on the campus, 


but the original building has been carefully preserved 
as it was when she was its dignified principal. The 
Ku Klux Klan guarded the Female Institute, deter- 
mined that negroes should not be admitted, as the 
Military Commander had threatened to do. 

The destruction of the public buildings at Athens 
was responsible for the holding of the meetings of 
the Ku Klux Klan in the open during the summer of 
1866, and during the winter they began building bon- 
fires for warmth, which led to many open-air demon- 
strations and rendered them more ghostly in appear- 
ance ; being seen from a distance by negroes it caused 
their "nocturnal perambulations" to cease. 

So once more, necessity which knows no law led to 
correcting one of the worst habits of the restless 
negroes who had been freed and had the idea that 
freedom meant license. Many of the older negroes 
were using their judgment and trying to assist in 
every way, the white people, to control the younger 
negroes who were a menace to all communities by 
their petty depredations and irresponsibility, though 
they were often led by mean white men whose own 
lawless deeds they hoped might be credited to the 

The administration of civil law was only partially 
re-established in the South, after the War; the States 
were under arbitrary military rule, the carpet-baggers 
and negroes had been placed in the offices of both state 
and county, the white men of the South were pro- 
hibited from holding either state or national offices, 
and these conditions gave every incentive for the 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 41 

growth and power of the Ku Klux Klan, which at 
that time was the only hope of the people of the South. 
The Ku Klux Klan was taking on new features not 
at first remotely contemplated by the Order — features 
which finally transformed the Ku Klux Klan into 
the world's greatest Regulators. 

This rapid growth of the Ku Klux Klan led to 
closer affiliation and the Ku Klux Klans already 
formed felt the need of a leader sufficiently skilled to 
direct and control this vast body of men who were 
banded together to reconstruct the Southern states, 
which was not being fairly done by the government 
at Washington. 

In April 1867 the Grand Cyclops, Frank O. 
McCord, and the five other founders of the Pulaski 
Klan realizing the need of a leader and of further 
expansion for the Ku Klux Klan, with the object in 
view of "White Supremacy" in the Southern states, 
sent an order for all the Klans to appoint delegates 
to meet in Nashville, Tennessee, in May 1867, to fur- 
ther the interests of the South, then so much in need 
of some power to improve the prevailing conditions. 
The following incident is one of many which caused 
the Ku Klux Klan to change the "social club" 
which was their first intention, into a protective 

Three miles from Athens, a Confederate soldier, 
Mr. Ed. Tanner, who had been honorably discharged 
from the Confederate States Army some time before 
the surrender, because of ill-health, was called to his 
door, late one night, dragged into the highway, and 


shot by negro soldiers, and his body pinned to the 
ground by a sharpened fence-rail, so the negro sol- 
diers might ride over it. 

This occurred on a beautiful moonlight night and 
in full view of the window where his wife, who had 
just given birth to a son a few hours before, was in 
bed. The physician, Dr. Nicholas Davis Richardson, 
who had attended the young mother, sent a faithful 
negro man who had been a former slave of the family, 
to Athens, to notify the Ku Klux Klan to come to this 
home for the purpose of capturing these murderers. 

The plantation bells, which were a part of the 
equipment used for ringing at the noon hour, had 
been adopted by the Ku Klux Klan as signals of 
danger. Dr. Richardson rang the bell and each 
plantation took up the signal until the country had 
been notified. 

I was a small girl at that time in the home of my 
father, Colonel Lawrence Ripley Davis, whose 
plantation was on the extreme eastern limit of Lime- 
stone County. I was awakened in one of the upper 
bed-rooms by the ringing of the farm bell which stood 
in its high framework on the lawn. I ran down into 
the bed-room of my mother just in time to see my 
father, dressed in the Ku Klux regalia, leaning over 
her to kiss her good bye. 

I had never seen him in his regalia before, and it 
frightened me ; he took me in his arms and kissed me 
good-bye, and told me he was only masquerading and 
playing "dress up," for fun. I went to the window, 
and looking out was indelibly impressed by seeing 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 4S 

my father's horse, in its trappings of disguise, being 
held for him by a faithful negro man, Antony, who 
never left the family until his death a few years ago, 
and who has retold this episode to me many times. 

I watched my father out of the gate-way on this 
bright moonlight night and saw many hundreds of 
the Ku Klux Klan in their white robes, filing over the 
hill to join him, and follow the signaling bell towards 
Athens, and on to the home where the fiendish deed 
had been done. 

The negro soldiers who had murdered Mr. Tanner, 
were pursued by the Ku Klux Klan to the Tennessee 
River, ten miles away, and were almost overtaken at 
Decatur, where they made an effort after dismount- 
ing, to cross the railroad on foot. They encountered 
an incoming train and jumped from the bridge into 
the river, where some of them escaped to the opposite 
shore, while several of them were drowned. 

The murder of Mr. Tanner and other outrages 
by the negro soldiers was the means of strengthening 
the Ku Klux Klan in their determination to press on 
towards some form of relief from such outrages, and 
caused the augmenting of their numbers by many 

The night's display of their numbers when they 
were attempting to arrest the murderers of Mr. Tan- 
ner proved salutary for Limestone County. The 
Union League, the Radical Order, which was giving 
much trouble, changed its severity, and, through fear 
of the Ku Klux Klan after their display on that 
memorable night, caused the negroes to make mor© 


progress in the next few months in needed lessons of 
self-control and industry, than they would have done 
in as many years. 

Another cause of the Ku Klux Klan's growth was 
falsehoods told by J. W. Alvord, Inspector of 
Schools and Finances, Freedmen's Bureau, who when 
asked by the Congressional Committee on Recon- 
struction, what was the general feeling towards the 
government of the United States said: "It is hostile, 
it seems to me, in the great majority of the southern 
people, I mean that part of them who were in the 

"There is evidently no regret for the rebellion, but 
rather a defense of it. They everywhere defend the 
principles on which the rebellion was commenced. 
They seem to think that peace was brought about by 
an arrangement which allowed them the equal condi- 
tion of belligerents and in possession of all they had 
previously of government privileges; and, that they 
shall be admitted as states into the Union, and they 
complained bitterly of the treatment they are receiv- 
ing in being kept out." 

When Mr. Alvord was asked by the Committee: 
"What great object do they seem to contemplate in 
their being readmitted into Congress by their repre- 
sentatives?" he said: "They supposed that by read- 
mission they could get political power and obtain 
again the supremacy which they once had, and, with 
the exception of slavery, they expect to be still a 
prosperous and dominant portion of our govern- 
ment." When asked if the southern people had the 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 45 

power, would they put the negroes back into slavery, 
he answered: "They would/' 

He said, "Everywhere the negroes were refused the 
privilege of buying land and of claiming their rights 
as free men." Mr. Alvord went all over the South 
stirring up strife among the races. He was at Athens, 
Alabama, and founded the negro school in the Bap- 
tist church and tried to force the white people to send 
their children to school with the negroes. 

He said to this Committee: "All sorts of evil is 
predicted by the white people if negroes have learn- 
ing, and the 'poor whites' hate the idea of the negroes 
being able to read and write when they can not. 
Much fraud has been practiced on the negroes by 
their old masters." A greater falsehood was never 
stated by any one. 

General James H. Clanton of Montgomery was 
the first Grand Dragon of the Realm of Alabama Ku 
Klux Klan, and continued in this capacity until his 
death, when General John T. Morgan was elected in 
his place, and served until 1876. The Ku Klux Klan 
in 1877 was led by General Edmund W. Pettus as 
Grand Dragon of the Realm. 

General Morgan was elected to the United States 
Senate by the Ku Klux Klan in 1876, and served 
until his death in 1907. 

In 1867 Bishop Richard H. Wilmer, who was a 
close friend of General Morgan, the Second Dragon 
of the Realm of Alabama, went to England and 
there he saw Judah P. Benjamin who had been a 
member of the Confederate States Cabinet. 


Among other things he told him of the Ku Klux 
Klan and the power it was exerting, and the necessity 
for keeping up the ghostly idea that the negroes might 
be controlled, and told him of the scarcity of suit- 
able dry-goods and horses for the use of the Ku Klux 
Klan. " 

Mr. Benjamin's interest in the Ku Klux Klan was 
so aroused that he borrowed money and gave it to 
Bishop Wilmer to buy horses, saddles, fire-arms, and 
other necessities for the Ku Klux Klan. 

Several years after the work of the Ku Klux Klan 
had been completed, a fund was raised by the women 
of the South, by festivals, oyster-suppers, charades 
and other entertainments, that this money might be 
returned to Mr. Benjamin. I helped to raise this 

Mr. Judah P. Benjamin was a Jew, born in 1812 
on one of the British West India Islands while his 
parents were on their way to the United States. He 
attended Yale College. He was a lawyer in New 
Orleans, La., when he was elected to the United 
States Senate, where Mr. Jefferson Davis met him 
and of whom he said "Mr. Benjamin had very high 
reputation as a lawyer and my acquaintance with him 
in the Senate impressed me with the lucidity of his 
intellect, his systematic habits, and capacity for labor. 
He was, therefore, invited to the post of Attorney 
General in the cabinet of the Confederate States of 
America.' ' He was later made Secretary of War, 
then Secretary of State — and served to the end of the 
Confederacy, and was with Jefferson Davis when 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 47 

they crossed the Savannah River, after the night 
march from Abbeville, S. C, after the fall of the Con- 
federacy. Mr. Benjamin escaped after leaving Mr. 
Davis and went to Bermuda and then to England. 
He became a Queen's Counsel in London and was 
highly esteemed as an English barrister. Mr. Burton 
N. Harrison who was with Jefferson Davis when he 
was captured said it was best for the Confederacy and 
Mr. Davis that he did not escape with Mr. Benjamin, 
as having been a prisoner of the United States Gov- 
ernment, and the fact that he was never brought to 
trial on any of the charges was sufficient vindication. 
Mr. Benjamin became very wealthy in England and 
Mrs. Jefferson Davis told me that he often sent her 
money to relieve the needy among his friends in the 
United States, as well as the assistance rendered the 
Ku Klux Klan, as the South had been plundered so 
as to render this help necessary; for the South was 
being financially ruined by the frauds perpetrated by 
the United States Treasury Department in their 
efforts to sell all the property subject to seizure under 
the Confiscation Acts of Congress; cotton was con- 
fiscated and a commission of 25% was paid the 
agents. The Ku Klux Klan Minority Report of the 
subcommittee on "Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary 
States" stated that three million bales of cotton were 
confiscated, and that the government received only 
114,000 bales. 

The United States government not only confiscated 
all cotton raised by the women of the South with the 
help of the still faithful negroes after the close of the 


Civil War, when most of the men had come home sick 
and exhausted from the battlefields, but they con- 
fiscated mules, wagons, farming implements and 
even the small quantities of foods they had been able 
to store for themselves. 

This so embittered the women that they held noth- 
ing but contempt for the government at Washington, 
and while the men tried to keep their part of the con- 
tract embodied in their paroles, the women were will- 
ing for them to go back to war rather than submit to 
this condition. So the women hailed the Ku Klux 
Klan as they would have done the army as a source 
of protection to them. 

The women took the clothes off of their backs and 
the sheets off of their beds to make the ghostly re- 
galia for the Ku Klux Klan. There were no stocks of 
goods in the South as the merchants had no credit or 
money, and when all the white material available was 
used, the women converted their "Dolly Varden" and 
other bright colored calico into costumes for them. 

At this time the Alabama Ku Klux Klan spread 
very rapidly, but the headquarters was always kept at 

It is important to note here that Alabama, in its 
own sovereignty, had abolished slavery within its bor- 
ders, and General James H. Clanton, who was the 
wise and fearless leader of the Democratic Party, 
from its reorganization after the war, until the day of 
his death, advocated this measure of the abolition of 

Under the authority of the convention that adopted 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 49 

this measure, an election was held on Nov. 20, 1865, 
and ratified the amendments to the Constitution of 
the United States, excepting the 14th, which deprived 
vast numbers of the Southerners of the right of citi- 

The Legislature rejected the 14th Amendment for 
the Southern people considered this suicide. The 
Federal government was duly notified of the pro- 
ceedings and Governor Parsons, who was head of the 
provisional government of Alabama, received a let- 
ter from Secretary of State Seward, which said : 

"In the judgment of the president, the time had 
arrived when the care and the conduct of the affairs 
of Alabama could be remitted to the Constitutional 
authorities chosen by the people thereof without dan- 
ger to the peace and safety of the United States," 
and directions were given to Governor Parsons to 
transfer to the Governor of Alabama elected by the 
people all papers and property in his hands. 

On Dec. 10th, 1865, Robert N". Patton was inaug- 
urated Governor. 

Governor Parsons was a native of New York but 
had long been a resident of Talladega, Ala. He was 
a Whig and a Union man, and a man of fine per- 
sonality and much dignity of character. As evidence 
of the confidence the people had in him, they elected 
former Governor Parsons United States Senator, for 
the term ending March 3, 1871. 

The same legislature elected George S. Houston for 
the term ending 1867 and John A. Winston for the 
term of six years commencing March 4, 1867. At 


the election in November, 1865, C. C. Langdon was 
elected to Congress from the first district, the second 
George C. Freeman, the third Cullen A. Battle, the 
fourth, J. W. Taylor, the fifth, Burwell T. Pope, and 
from the sixth, Thomas J. Foster. Then came the 
terrific shock which convulsed the South for these 
chosen men were not permitted to take their seats in 
Congress and the State was not represented until 

A military commander was appointed and directed 
to institute military tribunals instead of judicial, with 
the power to inflict unusual punishments, excepting 
only death. He was given the power to displace any 
official and appoint his successor, but this same act 
provided that military rule should cease when a con- 
vention of the people thereof should frame, and the 
voters adopt a constitution ratifying the amendment 
to the Federal constitution which conferred suffrage 
on the negroes. 

The new constitution was to be framed by delegates 
to be chosen by the votes of all citizens of legal age 
excepting those disfranchised by the 14th Amend- 
ment, and it was to be ratified by a majority of voters 
registered by the military commander. Under the 
Reconstruction Act of 1867, Alabama became a part 
of the military district comprising itself and the States 
of Georgia and Florida. 

The military commander called a convention to 
frame the constitution. When the election was held 
the polls were kept open five days, but the white men 
refused to vote. This gathering of men was stig- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 51 

matized as the "carpet-baggers" convention, as the 
men who composed it were corrupt and ignorant, and 
not even citizens of the state of Alabama. 

Samuel Hale, a brother of Senator Hale, one of 
the few Union men and Republicans in Sumpter 
County, Ala., said: "So far as I am acquainted with 
them, they are worthless vagabonds, homeless, house- 
less, drunken knaves." Mr. Hale said, "this election 
was as shameless a fraud as was ever perpetrated 
upon the face of the earth." 

After four years of warfare the difficulties of the 
Southerners were appalling. 

Cotton was one of the principal resources left to the 
people after the war. It was in great demand at high 
prices, and would have saved the people of the South 
from bankruptcy, but an unconstitutional tax of 3 
cents a pound was placed on it, and then 2% cents. 
At the close of the war there were five million bales 
of cotton stored in the South which would have been 
worth in Liverpool five hundred million dollars. 

Only a small part of this cotton was owned by the 
Confederate States government, and that part of it 
was turned over to General E. R. S. Camby, U. S. A., 
by General E. Kirby Smith, C. S. A., on May 24, 
1865. Then came a swarm of spies and agents sent 
by the Treasury Department and the seizure of 
cotton was indiscriminate; and when private owner- 
ship was proven, a toll was exacted before it was 

The Treasury Department ordered all the cotton 
from the Gulf States shipped to Simeon Draper, 



United States Cotton Agent in New York City; and 
that seized west of the Mississippi River, in Alabama 
and Georgia, to William T. Mellen, Cincinnati. 
"Simeon Draper, when he became cotton agent was 
a bankrupt, and he died a multi-millionaire." 

Those who have advocated the refunding of this tax 
on raw cotton collected by the United States govern- 
ment after the Civil War was over from 1865 to 1868, 
were, all the Southern members of Congress of both 
parties, State Legislatures who sent memorials, dis- 
tinguished citizens, commercial bodies, and eminent 
counsel, whose arguments were that the tax was not 
uniform ; because, it was imposed without the consent 
of the Southern people, and when they were wholly 
unrepresented in Congress; and, because, the men 
who raised cotton paid the same taxes that others paid, 
and then this extra tax on cotton which caused many 
of them to sell their plantations in desperation. 

This tax was 2% to 3 cents per pound from 
1866 to 1868, and the law exempting the cotton from 
taxation was passed March 3, 1868. Of this illegal 
tax, Alabama paid $10,388,072.10, Georgia paid $11,- 
897,094.98, Louisiana $10,098,501.00, and the other 
states paid less than this. There were sixteen states, 
some of them Western and Northern states which 
were included in this unjust tax, because they had 
bought the cotton, and had taken it to these states 
before the law was passed. 

Senator Lee Overman of North Carolina, and other 
Senators and Representatives from the South, have 
introduced many bills in Congress for the restoration 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 53 

of this cotton tax to the men who owned it, or to their 
heirs. There have been test cases made before the 
Supreme Court which were decided adversely to the 
rightful owners of this cotton in question, and at pres- 
ent efforts are being made to recover this sum which 
is $68,072,388.99. 

"Confiscation is a method by which a conquerer robs 
his foes and rewards his friends. All confiscation is 
robbery." These words were used by Hon. John W. 
Chandler in reply to Mr. Thaddeus Stevens on his 
arguments in the House of Representatives on the 
Southern Confiscation Bill under which so many ille- 
gal acts were performed and which caused the Secre- 
tary of the Treasuiy in 1866 to say of the South, 
"Even in their deplorable condition, more than two- 
thirds of our exports last year consisted of their 
products and it is the crop of the present year, 1867, 
small though it is, that is to save us from ruinous in* 
debtedness to Europe." But Congress would not 
listen to his appeal to repeal the law. 

At this time the New York Chamber of Commerce 
memorialized Congress against this unjust tax on 
raw cotton, and said "taxation without representa- 
tion is tyranny, that the cotton tax was a violation of 
the Constitution and, that the proposed increase to 5 
cents a pound by Congress, lacked an impartiality 
which was calculated to provoke hostility at the 
South, and to excite in all honest minds of the North, 
that such a purpose should not prevail. 

"A discriminating tax which tends to make the rich 
at the North richer, and the poor at the South poorer 


operates as a discouragement to those who with heavy- 
hearts but honest endeavor strive to regain their lost 

"If it be true that when one member suffers all the 
members suffer, the committee appointed to make this 
memorial would urge a more moderate tax than now 
proposed, not in the interest of the South alone but 
for the common good of all the states in the Union." 

Many people in the South who were the victims of 
this tyranny "taxation without representation" still 
hope that the United States Government will yet re- 
fund this illegal tax. 

Fifty million dollars worth of cotton was shipped 
to Simeon Draper, and the United States government 
only got fifteen million of it. Thus the Southern 
people were impoverished and their property turned 
over to these unscrupulous scoundrels. 

One duty of the Ku Klux Klan for many years was 
to build gins in the dense forests, haul the cotton there, 
gin it, hide it and guard it. Had it not been for 
the Ku Klux Klan who saved what cotton they could 
secretly, the people would have died of starvation. 

Another cause of irritation which caused collisions 
in Alabama was the offensive conduct of the Federal 
soldiers in the garrisons. In Tuscaloosa, Greensboro 
and Eutaw and many other towns throughout the 
state, they were insulting to the former soldiers of the 
Confederacy, United States flags were stretched 
across the streets so pedestrians would have to pass 
under them, especially the women. 

As a result of these occurrences the Ku Klux Klan 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 55 

was organized in Greensboro and the members were 
to assemble at the ringing of a certain bell. The 
soldiers attempted once to force a woman in Tusca- 
loosa to walk under the flag and Ryland Randolph 
seized a sabre and challenged the commander to mor- 
tal combat. The officer refused to fight and never 
repeated this insult again. 

To resume the subject of the election on the con- 
stitution it is well to comment on the perfidy of Con- 
gress of imposing upon the people of Alabama in 
violation of its own solemn covenant, a constitution 
which they had rejected in a lawful manner. 

The fact that the government imposed the same 
penalty on men who had opposed with all their abili- 
ties the severance of Alabama from the Union, em- 
bittered men who had been Whigs and would perhaps 
have preferred the Republican Party had they not 
been driven towards the Democratic Party. 

There were thousands of men in Alabama who be- 
lieved that the Democrats had precipitated secession 
without permitting the people to 'vote on the ordi- 
nance. They believed with Colonel Nicholas Davis, 
who wrote the amendment to the secession ordinance to 
submit it to the people, that had this been done, seces- 
sion would have been defeated. Northern Alabama 
was so loyal to the Union that it even thought of sep- 
arating that section from the remainder of the State 
and fighting it out on its own lines. 

But when Fort Sumpter was threatened these same 
men fought with the Confederate forces. In Ala- 
bama there were many men who were Whigs and 


Union men who had no liking for the Democratic 
Party; but they saw nothing but a perpetuation of 
negro supremacy in Alabama, should Republican 
leaders be allowed there. 

Alabama elected Governor R. B. Lindsay who had 
defeated W. R. Smith. Governor Lindsay demanded 
the seal and papers of the state and Smith refused to 
deliver them. A trial was set for three o'clock in the 
afternoon and Governor Smith was ordered to appear 
in person in the court and show why he refused to 
deliver the property. 

Governor Smith was informed by General Edmund 
W. Pettus, who was on that day leading the Ku Klux 
Klan for General Morgan, that every town in the 
state was sending its Ku Klux Klan to Montgomery, 
that every available locomotive in the state had been 
requisitioned, and that the Ku Klux Klan was en- 
trained and side-tracked at every station along every 

The court-room was already crowded with strange 
men, which caused much excitement and Governor 
Smith did not like their appearance there. He did 
not relish the idea of coming before that formidable 
audience, "contesting the right of the people's repre- 
sentatives to assume the offices to which they had 
elected them." So he held a conference with Genera] 
Pettus and told him he would yield and therefore 
turn the papers of the state over to Governor 

In 1876 when Governor George S. Houston was 
re-elected, his home being at Athens, the Ku Klux 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 57 

Klan had a great torchlight parade in celebration, of 
the redeemed South, as well as Alabama. 

The Court House had just been completed, after 
having been burned during the war by Federal 
soldiers, and Captain William Richardson was asked 
to raise the "Stars and Stripes" for the first time 
since he took that flag down in 1861, when he went 
with his State, after secession. 

He had been crippled by a wound in a limb at the 
battle of Chickamauga and his two brothers took the 
flag, and unfurled it to the breeze from the cupola — 
and when Edwin R. Richardson and James B. Rich- 
ardson were seen with the flag, a great cheer went up 
for Captain Richardson. 

Captain John Buchanan Floyd, a Lictor of the Ku 
Klux Klan of Athens, Alabama, was born at the fam- 
ily home, Brookfield, near Lynchburg, Va., April 28, 
1838. He was educated in private schools of Lynch- 
burg and the Virginia Military Institute. He was on 
a visit to North Alabama when Virginia seceded. He 
joined the Confederate States army and was elected 
lieutenant. He was promoted to Captain in 
Wheeler's command. After the War he returned to 
Alabama to look after lands he had there and found 
the most desolate conditions. 

In December 1867, he married Frances Maria 
Harris, daughter of Major John R. Harris of Lime- 
stone County. On the maternal side of them both 
they were the descendants of Orlando Jones (1687- 
1719), a celebrated Colonial lawyer of Virginia who 
was a son of Rev. Roland Jones (1640-1688) who 


was the first rector of Bruton Parish Church at Wil- 
liamsburg, Virginia, which was the Colonial capitol of 

Many prominent people of the South are descended 
from the two grand-daughters of Orlando Jones. 
The eldest, Martha Dandridge, married first Colonel 
Custis, and second General George Washington. 

The other grand-daughter, Frances Barbour Jones, 
married Captain John Jones (no relation of hers), 
who was a gallant officer in the "Light Brigade" of 
Harry Lee, father of Robert E. Lee; and was the 
great-grandmother of John Buchanan Floyd, and 
Frances Maria Harris, who married each other. 

The children of Captain and Mrs. John B. Floyd 
are as follows: Elizabeth Harris Floyd, married Ed- 
ward Fletcher of Madison, Ala., and died leaving one 
son; Annie West Floyd married William Harvey 
Gillespie, a son of C. M. Gillespie, who was a Ku 
Klux Klansman. Schuyler Harris Floyd married 
Mittie Sherrod. He lives in Birmingham, Ala. ; and 
also Mrs. Gillespie ; Ellen Stith Floyd married John 
Hurtzler. She is a widow and lives in Birmingham. 
Ida Isabel Floyd married Thomas H. Hopkins, son 
of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hopkins. Mrs. Frank Hop- 
kins was a descendent of Governor Thomas Bibb, 
first Governor of Alabama. John Buchanan Floyd 
Jr., married Hibernia Wise, daughter of Arthur 
Wise of Virginia and Lucy Harris of Alabama. 
Florence Lee Floyd, unmarried; Charles Perkins 
Floyd, unmarried; Nicholas Nathaniel Floyd, un- 
married. Captain Floyd was one of the Couriers be- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 59 

tween the Ku Klux Klan headquarters and the 
Virginia Ku Klux Klan. 

Fortunatus Shackleford Wood was born Jan. 26, 
1838, died May 14, 1914. He was a member of Co. 
E., 26th Alabama Regiment, Confederate States 
Army commanded by Captain James Henry Malone. 
Later this was changed to 50th then to 22nd Regiment 
with W. D. Chaddick's Battalion 1st Alabama Vol- 
unteers. He was paroled May 1, 1865 at Greensboro, 
N. C. He was a member of the Home Guards 
(Athens, Ala.) known as the Limestone Rebels 
which became the 26th Alabama Regiment. Mr. 
Wood was a very progressive and highly esteemed 
citizen of his native town, Athens, Alabama. He was 
the Grand Magi of the Athens Ku Klux Klan. He 
is survived by two sons Mr. George Wood, Mr. 
William Wood and a charming and gifted daughter, 
a "song-bird of the South," Miss Elizabeth Wood 
(New York City). 

General John Tyler Morgan, Second Grand 
Dragon of the Realm of Alabama (Invisible Em- 
pire), was born June 20, 1824, at Athens, Tennes- 
see, and died June 11, 1907, at Washington, D..C; 
was buried at his home Selma, Alabama, and was 
followed to his grave by thousands of grateful Ala- 
bamians, and other people from all over the United 
States who realized that their great champion of 
human libetry was gone. 

General Morgan was descended from clan Morgan 
of Wales and his grandfather came to this country 
and settled in Connecticut and afterwards went to 


Tennessee. His father was born at Saratoga, N. Y., 
one night when George Washington was visiting the 
family, and he was named for George Washington. 

His mother was Frances Irby of Virginia, a woman 
of rare mental attainments, who taught her boy 
almost entirely from memory in the absence of schools 
and books which she could not always obtain for him. 
She required him to memorize entire books, such as 
Pope's Essay on Man, John Wesley's Sermons and 
others; and in this way he cultivated a memory which 
was of great advantage to him through life; his fund 
of knowledge, and his ready use of it, was the aston- 
ishment of those with whom he was associated 
throughout his entire life. 

He was sent to England on one occasion for our 
government as our Senator, and a Lord of England 
in conversing with him, was so impressed with his 
marvelous command of facts, that he said "I wish you 
would tell me what University you attended in 

Senator Morgan replied "I never was on a Univer- 
sity campus but once, and that was during the Civil 
War when I was hard pressed by the Yankee soldiers, 
and took refuge, and made my barracks out of the 
Mary and William College in Virginia. It is an 
ordinary thing in America for men to succeed without 
a University education." 

He was a delegate from Dallas County to the se- 
cession convention in 1861, and while opposed to 
secession, he finally voted for the ordinance, his de- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 61 

bates in this convention were equal in brilliancy of 
the great secession orator Wm, L. Yancey. 

He abided by the majority, and enlisted as a private 
in Company G., Fifth Alabama Regiment, Confed- 
erate States Army, and was elected major of that 
regiment. He resigned this commission, and returned 
to Alabama, and equipped a mounted regiment almost 
at his own expense, and was made Colonel. He was 
ordered to report to General Nathan B. Forrest. 
Colonel Morgan was promoted Brigadier General, 
and in recognition of his military genius General 
Robert E. Lee personally notified him of his 

At the close of the War between the States Gen- 
eral Morgan returned to Alabama, and begun his 
masterly effort to rehabilitate his devastated State. 
When the iniquitous reconstruction measures were 
forced upon Alabama, he came out boldly for "white 
supremacy" and State sovereignty. 

He was Grand Dragon of the Realm of Alabama 
Ku Klux Klan (after the death of General Jas. H. 
Clanton, who first held this position) until he was 
elected United States Senator in 1876, and then Gen- 
eral Edmund W. Pettus was made Grand Dragon. 

When the "Grandfather Clause" was included in 
the new Constitutions of the Southern States which 
restored "white supremacy," General Morgan was 
called upon to make the most tremendous effort of his 
public life, to defeat the infamous "force bill" which 
was designed to enforce the Fourteenth and Fifteenth 


Amendments to the United States Constitution by 
acts of Congress. 

The resolution leading to this was introduced by- 
Mr. Geo. Pritchard, a Republican. Senator Mor- 
gan's debate against this bill was the crowning act of 
his career for the good of the South and the whole 
country. By his eloquence and logic, he won over 
enough Northern Senators to defeat the measure, 
and Colonel Thomas M. Owen in his "History of 
Alabama" says: 

"No one of his great public services won for him 
greater gratitude from his people than his defeat of 
a movement which would have, if made effective by 
law, brought back to the Southern States all the dis- 
orders and horrors of the reconstruction period, and 
perhaps another Civil War, for Senator Morgan said 
in his debate in the Senate 'such a measure would 
abolish the state as to its rightful sovereign powers 
and would remand it to the condition of our organized 
Territories, all of whose laws may be repealed by 
Congress, and all of whose officials may be placed 
under the power of appointment and removed by the 
President.' " This debate was in 1900, and not long 
after this I was in conversation with Senator Morgan, 
and thanked him for his success in preventing the 
passage of the "force bill," and he smiled and said, 
"I was so excited that I came very near telling them 
on the Senate floor that I was a Ku Klux Klansman, 
and that if that bill passed, there would be a million 
of them to rise up against it." 

I then asked him many questions regarding the Ku 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 63 

Klux Klan in Alabama, and am indebted to him for 
a great deal of information stated in this history. 
Senator Morgan was the first man I ever heard make 
a public speech. 

When I was quite a small girl, he made a speech in 
the court house yard at Athens, Alabama, urging the 
people not to leave Alabama, as many were so dis- 
couraged that they were seeking homes elsewhere on 
account of the threatened laws for the amalgamation 
of the races, and of mixed schools, and other de- 
pressing measures imposed upon the State by the 
General Government. General Sterling Price went 
to Mexico to found a colony, but General Wood of 
Mississippi said in a newspaper, "Better submit and 
endure wrongs than be exiles in a foreign land," and 
he returned home. 

General Morgan said in this speech that some day 
there would be a canal connecting the Atlantic and 
Pacific Oceans; that the Muscle Shoals in the Ten- 
nessee River would be developed by the United 
States Government; that great ocean-going steamers 
would ply between the Ohio River and Chattanooga, 
and that Alabama would be among the leading states 
of the Union. 

He turned to my father, Colonel Lawrence Ripley 
Davis, who was seated beside him on the rostrum, and 
with deep emotion in his voice and tears streaming 
down his face, he said "As for my part I will stay and 
I feel sure that my friend 'Rip Davis' will be among 
the number who will stay with my beloved state 
of Alabama," and with the people cheering until his 


voice was almost drowned, he closed his immortal 
speech with the words "Alabama, Here We Rest." 

Many men and women rushed forward, and 
grasped his hand, and promised him that they would 
join his patriots who would redeem Alabama, and 
forever defend it against every foreign foe. Senator 
Morgan was a very handsome and distinguished man 
in appearance, and was as gentle as a woman in his 
dealings with everyone. 

From this speech until the day of his death, he was 
my ideal statesman, and I never missed an oppor- 
tunity to hear his debates in the senate of the United 
States, where he was a credit to Alabama and to the 
whole country. He was the "father of the isthmian 
canal idea," and championed the route through the 
valley of the San Juan River, and across Lake Nica- 
ragua, as it was the most practical and healthful way. 

He had given exhaustive study to the subject of 
slides and other obstacles to be overcome in the build- 
ing of the canal, and he was deeply disappointed 
when the Panama route was selected, but he was so 
great a statesman that he yielded his views and ac- 
cepted the inevitable and worked on until his death 
for the canal, but did not live to see it completed. 

Senator Morgan's fame is too well known to re- 
quire any further outline of his work in this book, 
but I shall only say that he was the greatest Senator 
Alabama has ever had, for no matter was too small 
for his attention that concerned the humblest of his 
constituents and no task too great for him to attempt 
in the interest of his State and the country at large. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 65 

Miss Mary Morgan is the only child who survives 
her illustrious father. 

The Ku Klux Klan of Eufaula was commanded by 
Mr. James Lawrence Pugh who was born in Georgia, 
and died at Washington after serving sixteen years 
as United States Senator from Alabama. He was a 
Representative in Congress, and resigned when Ala- 
bama seceded from the Union. 

He entered the Confederate states army in 1861, 
and was in Company A, Alabama Infantry, and 
acted as escort when Jefferson Davis was inaugu- 
rated president of the Confederate States of America. 
Mr. Pugh was a member of the First and Second 
Confederate Congresses and was Grand Titan of the 
Ku Klux Klan, Realm of Alabama. 

While in the United States Senate, and as chair- 
man of the Judiciary Committee of the Senate in the 
Fifty-third and Fifty-fourth Congresses, his report 
on the Tenure of Office Act was said to have been one 
of the greatest of state papers written within forty 
years, as it involved all the principles of law on 
which the impeachment charges against President 
Andrew Johnson were based. This case was of 
George Dustin, a United States District Attorney, 
who was removed from office by President Grover 
Cleveland. Mr. Pugh was the father of Mrs. Alfred 
W. Cochran of New York City, who is a very charm- 
ing woman. 

The Grand Cyclops of the Huntsville Klan was 
Colonel William M. Lowe, who told the Committee 
of Congress Investigating Affairs in Insurrectionary 


States "that the Ku Klux were said to be the 
Confederate dead who had risen from the dead and 
were incapable of being wounded or killed and could 
drink wells of water as they had been where it was 
very warm! 3 He said: "After a great civil convul- 
sion such as ours was, the people being in appre- 
hension that the very foundations of society would 
be broken up, was the excuse for the Ku Klux Klan." 
When he was asked if Colonel Nicholas Davis was 
a member of the Union League, he said, "he was not 
and was very hostile to it." In this distorted, un- 
truthful report of this Committee, it is stated that 
Colonel Lowe said that Colonel Davis was a scalawag. 
There never was a greater falsehood ever penned, for, 
had it been true Colonel Lowe would never have said 
such a disrespectful thing about his brother-in-law 
who had been a father to him, and, in whose home he 
lived at that time. 

This falsehood was put in this report about Colonel 
Davis being a scalawag because he had prosecuted so 
many "carpet-baggers" and often secured convictions, 
and the Federal authorities at Huntsville would dis- 
miss the prisoners ; then Colonel Davis would report 
to the Ku Klux Klan, of which he was a member, to 
drive these criminals from the state if they could not 
be properly punished. 

Colonel William M. Lowe, when asked if he knew 
of any disguised men taking guns away from negroes, 
said: "On Colonel Lawrence Ripley Davis* planta- 
tion the spurious Ku Klux Klan, in disguise, had 
attempted to take guns away from two negro men 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 67 

who had been Colonel Davis' former slaves, named 
Archie and Alex, and that Col. Davis and Capt. 
DeWitt Clinton Davis took their guns to defend 
their negroes and with their help unmasked the men 
and found they were impostors and were imitating 
the Ku Klux Klan." 

Colonel Lowe said, "there was no more loyal 
Southerner" than Colonel Nicholas Davis and al- 
though he was a Union man, before secession, he fol- 
lowed the destiny of his State. He was a member of 
the Secession Convention at Montgomery in 1861 and 
wrote the resolution asking that the ordinance of 
secession be submitted to the people for ratification 
as his section of Alabama was opposed to secession. 
He served in the Confederate States Army. 

Colonel Nicholas Davis never held any public 
office after the Civil War and therefore could not be 
placed in the category of "scalawags" as has been 
done by the reconstruction committee of Congress. 
Colonel Nicholas Davis died from exhaustion in 1874 
while defending a man for his life. He was a bril- 
liant lawyer and a much beloved citizen of Huntsville. 

Captain William Richardson, judicial officer of the 
Ku Klux Klan, stated before the sub-committee on 
"Condition of Affairs in the Southern States" hold- 
ing hearings at Huntsville, Alabama, Oct. 12, 1871, 
that he was not in favor of secession in Alabama 
and did not approve of the plan by which it was done. 
He said he thought it would have been voted down if 
it had been submitted to the people, as there was great 
bitterness in his county of Limestone upon the man- 


ner in which the ordinance of secession was carried 
through the convention. 

He said he made a speech in the Cumberland Pres- 
byterian Church at Athens, Limestone County, in 
protest against secession, and his father too was 
opposed to secession. (Capt. Richardson told me a 
few years before his death that he still had that Union 
speech that he made on Feb. 22, 1861.) 

Alabama having seceded on Jan. 11, 1861, and the 
feeling generally in North Alabama was opposed to 
secession — as a further evidence of his Union senti- 
ment he suggested and helped to put up the "Stars 
and Stripes" on the cupola of the court house at 
Athens where it stayed until he decided to take it 
down and espouse the cause of his State by entering 
the Confederate States Army and the eleven men 
beside himself who had put the flag up all went into 
the Confederate service. 

Capt. Richardson when asked why he went into the 
Confederate service when he so ardently wished the 
Union preserved, replied: "I afterward entered the 
army as a Confederate soldier, freely and from my 
own choice, for the reason that it had then become a 
question whether I should side with my own people 
or whether I should fight in the army of the United 

"Upon that question I had no hesitancy whatever. 
As long as there was a possibility, so far as my then 
limited intelligence in political matters could discern, 
of the Union being preserved and kept together, en- 
tertaining merely the sentiments of my father — hav- 

This is a picture of the mask worn by the organizers of 

the original Ku Klux Klan, loaned by the Archives 

of History of Alabama. 

(Drawn for this History by Mrs. John 
Moore, Montgomery, Alabama.) 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 69 

ing his views reflected upon me — I was for its 
preservation and maintenance. I went into the Con- 
federate army because it had become an actual and 
real fact that there was no Union, so far as Alabama 
was concerned ; that it was gone, and that I either had 
to go up North or stay South; the latter I had no 
hesitancy in doing. 

"When Mr. Lincoln made a call for 75,000 troops, 
my feelings upon that subject were changed; there 
had been an entire change in my feelings upon that 
subject after that call for 75,000 troops. 

"I was no longer in favor of maintaining the Union. 
I was in favor of abiding by my State and following 
her destiny. When asked about the Loyal League 
he said: "In regard to the organization called the 
Loyal League, all I can tell you of that organization, 
a Radical organization fomenting trouble in the 
South, is from what I heard — nothing that I know 
of my personal knowledge. 

"I know to the best of my information and belief 
that such an organization existed. I knew of its 
President. He was Daniel H. Bingham. 

"I remember that they used to meet in an old drug 
store on the corner of the square in Athens ; that was 
in 1866; they would meet once a week. At that time 
they met in the day. I could see them going up into 
the house. I remember a disturbance that took place 
when they met there. 

"The object of the League, so far as I understood, 
was to get the colored people into it and instill 
into them animosity and prejudice against the native 


Southern white people, and to thereby insure their 
votes for the radical party." Captain Richardson 
said that in a letter to the Huntsville Advocate July 
25, 1870, Governor Smith, a republican, denounced 
other "carpet-baggers" for uttering falsehoods about 
the South, and said of J. D. Sibly, a "carpet-bag" 
Sheriff: "My candid opinion is that Sibly does not 
want to execute the law, because that would put down 
crime, and crime is his life's blood. He would like 
very much to have a Ku Klux outrage every week to 
assist him in keeping up strife between the whites 
and blacks, that he might be more certain of the 
votes of the latter. 

"He would like to have a few colored men killed 
every week to furnish a semblance of truth to Senator 
Spencer's libels upon the people of the State gen- 
erally. I speak in strong terms of condemnation of 
the conduct of two white men in Tuskegee a few days 
ago in advising colored men to resist the authority of 
the Sheriff; and these are not Ku Klux, but are 

Capt. Richardson told the sub-committee at Hunts- 
ville that he knew positively that the Ku Klux Klan 
did not start the riot at Huntsville when Silas Thur- 
low was killed and others wounded; that he was 
on the opposite side of the court square, and was 
talking with the Ku Klux Klan and persuading them 
to move on. 

He told me a few years before his death that the 
Ku Klux who were in Huntsville that night were men 
he knew to be of the highest character, and were out 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 71 

only to keep order if such a thing were possible. He 
said he persuaded them to return home which they 
did near daylight and as they rode away his brother, 
Dr. Nicholas Davis Richardson, whispered in his ear 
that he must go back to his patients and rode away. 

General Jas. H. Clanton, Grand Dragon of the 
Invisible Empire, Alabama Realm, was with them 
that night and returned to my father's home twelve 
miles from Huntsville. They were brothers-in-law. 
General Clanton was a very gallant soldier and a 
very distinguished lawyer. He had been a Whig and 
was opposed to secession but when the War began he 
cast his lot with the people of his State, and after the 
War he led the men of his State in forming the Con- 
servative Party into which he thought he could gather 
all shades of political opinion that was for the good 
of Alabama. He had great powers of leadership 
and is described by Col. Hillary A. Herbert in "Why 
the Solid South" as "a great man of phenomenal 
courage, of great directness of thought and speech, 
and singular magnetism." He met a tragic death 
on the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee, when he was 
shot by Mr. David Nelson when they had a heated 
argument over a law-suit on which they were on op- 
posite sides. His death was a great shock and loss to 
his State, coming as it did, at the most crucial time in 
her history. 

Captain Wm. Richardson and General Clanton 
were warm personal friends, and he knew that night 
at Huntsville that all would be well while the Ku 


Klux Klan was being led by him and his brother, 
Dr. Richardson. 

William Richardson was born May 8, 1839, at 
Athens, Alabama, and died at Atlantic City, May 
31, 1914, and was buried at his home city of Hunts- 
ville, Alabama, where a large concourse of citizens 
followed him to the grave. He was educated at 
Florence Wesleyan University, and entered the serv- 
ice of the Confederate States Army in 1861. 

He was severely wounded at Shiloh, and again at 
Chickamauga which wounds gave him great pain dur- 
ing the remainder of his life. He represented his 
County of Limestone in the Legislature in 1867. He 
then moved to Madison County where he was Probate 
Judge for several years. 

He was Democratic elector for the State at large. 
He was a brilliant lawyer specializing in criminal law 
until he was elected to Congress as representative 
from the Eighth Alabama District from 1900 until 
his death. He took a prominent part in important 
legislation such as the Panama Canal, and the De- 
partment of Labor. He is survived by one son, Wil- 
liam Richardson, Nashville, Tennessee, and four 

Dr. Nicholas Davis Richardson, Grand Cyclops of 
the Athens Ku Klux Klan, was born November 
30, 1832, at Athens, Alabama, and died January 
3, 1895, at Nashville, Tennessee, and was buried 
at Athens, Alabama. He was a son of Wm. Rich- 
ardson and Ann Ridley (Davis) Richardson; a 
grandson of Nicholas Davis and Martha Pleasants 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 73 

(Hargrave) Davis of Virginia, who came to Ala- 
bama in 1817, and settled in Limestone County, 
and built them a magnificent home called "Walnut 
Grove" where they brought with them the traditional 
Virginia hospitality. 

Dr. Nicholas Davis Richardson was educated at 
the John Frazer Academy in his native town, at 
LaGrange College, University of Virginia, and Jef- 
ferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Penn. He 
was a devout Methodist, and a high Mason. He 
entered the Confederate States Army in 1861, and 
was Surgeon of the Twenty-sixth Alabama, and Fif- 
tieth Regiments until the close of the war in 1865. 

He returned to his home at Athens, and resumed 
the practice of his profession, and was the most be- 
loved physician of his time. He was the Grand 
Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan until 1871 when his 
health failed, and Captain Robert Anderson McClel- 
lan succeeded him until 1872 when Major Robert 
Donnell became the Grand Cyclops, and served until 
the close of the Ku Klux Klan. 

Dr. Richardson was a born physician; his match- 
less magnetism engendered in his patients a sublime 
faith in his skill and ability to save their lives. He 
was a very handsome man — immaulate in his attire at 
all times; a most compelling smile radiated his fea- 
tures, and was always a great asset to him in healing 
the sick, and in comforting the dying. 

He would compel cheerfulness from those attend- 
ing his patients, and did all in his power to cure them, 
and was marvelously successful. 


He was twice married, and to his first marriage 
were born six children, two of whom are still living in 
Athens, Alabama: Roswell H. Richardson who still 
lives in the Colonial mansion of his father, and a 
daughter, a most beautiful and gracious woman, Mrs. 
Thomas Maclin Hobbs. The mother of his children 
was Miss Betty Hine, who was a most lovable char- 
acter, and in many ways ministered to his sick 
patients, both high and low, black and white, and was 
the most universally beloved woman who ever lived in 
Athens. She died in early womanhood. His second 
wife was Mrs. Anna (Echols) Sledge, who was a 
very handsome and brilliant woman, and was his 
solace in his last years. 

The Second Grand Cyclops of the Athens Den, 
Ku Klux Klan, Robert Anderson McClellan, was 
born Dec. 24, 1843, in Lincoln County, Tennessee, 
and was brought to Alabama to live in 1844. He 
died July 27, 1898, at Athens, Alabama, and is 
buried there. He was a descendant of a Scotchman 
who came to this country before the Revolutionary 
war, and settled in Loudon County, Virginia, Wil 
liam McClellan, who was a captain of cavalry during 
the Revolutionary war from Virginia. He afterwards 
went to North Carolina where his son Thomas Joyce 
was born, and was the father of Robert A. McClellan 
and his mother was Martha Fleming (Beattie) 

He enlisted in the Confederate States Army soon 
after the beginning of the war while he was yet a 
school boy, and was in company C, Seventh Alabama 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 75 

cavalry, and served under Col. Jas. C. Malone as a 

He had many horses killed under him during the 
war, and his clothing shot to pieces several times, and 
by a miracle he escaped without being wounded. He 
was of a magnificent physique, being six feet and 
three inches in height, and sufficient weight for his 
height; after the war he studied law under Judge 
Wm. H. Walker and begun the practice at Athens 
and was considered one of the most brilliant lawyers 
at the Alabama bar. He was in the Constitutional 
Convention of Alabama in 1875, which reconstructed 
the State and was a leader in all movements for the 
betterment of his State. He was mayor of Athens 
and made many improvements in the town and its 
government. He was one of the Night Hawks of 
the Athens Ku Klux Klan and was afterwards made 
Grand Cyclops. 

This information was given me by him, and the 
picture furnished for this history. He was married 
in 1872 to a very brilliant woman, Miss Aurora Pryor 
who survives him, two children, Judge Thomas C. 
McClellan, Associate Justice of Supreme Court of 
Alabama, and Memory, who is the wife of Mr. Robert 
Henry Walker of Athens, Alabama. 

Mr. Robert Beaty Mason was born in the ancestral 
home, Jan. 27, 1846, and died May 19, 1904. He 
was in the Confederate States Army, Company A, 
11th Alabama Cavalry, commanded by General 
Rhoddy. He was a Night Hawk of the Athens Ku 
Klux Klan. He is survived by a beautiful and ac- 


complished daughter, Miss Mary Mason, and two 
sons, who are proud that their father was a member 
of the Ku Klux Klan of that time. They reside in 
the ancestral mansion, the picture of which is given 
in this book. 

The following statement from Colonel Lee Cran- 
dall is given, as he is one of the few men still living 
who substantiates the fact that the Ku Klux Klan 
did not disband in 1869, as is the popular belief. His 
business took him all over the South, and he saw them 
everywhere when needed, from 1865-1877: 

"Lee Crandall, residing in Alexandria, Rapides 
Parish, Louisiana, was chosen captain of the 'Rapides 
Invincibles' which was Company I, 8th Louisiana In- 
fantry. It was ordered to Manassas, Virginia, and 
was in service at the first battle of Bull Run; said 
Regiment wintered in Centerville, Virginia, under 
General Richard Taylor. 

"In 1862 when 'Stonewall' Jackson prepared for 
his great Valley Campaign he detailed me to report 
to him for special service. After defeating three ar- 
mies, General Jackson's command went to Rich- 
mond, Virginia, to aid General Lee defeat General 

"On the recommendation of General T. J. Jack- 
son, I was promoted to Major of Cavalry and was 
ordered to report to General Sterling Price. 

"After a few months' service in northern Arkansas 
and southern Missouri I was chosen colonel of the 
47th Arkansas Cavalry. I was captured in Kansas 
and was imprisoned on Johnson's Island, Ohio, and 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 77 

remained there from 1864 until the close of the war. 

"In 1868 I migrated from New Orleans, La., to 
Alabama. I married Miss Hattie M. Giers, daughter 
of Prof. Jean J. Giers, of Valhomosa Springs, Mor- 
gan County, Alabama, and we have four sons. I have 
one daughter by a former marriage, having lost my 
first wife soon after the daughter's birth. My second 
wife and five children are still with me. 

"I was field manager for the New York Graphic, 
the first daily illustrated newspaper in the world. 
During the reconstruction period in the South, I 
introduced this paper into the 'Sunny South.' My 
success was so great that the Graphic selected me to 
go to Philadelphia and open a branch office in 1875 
to report and illustrate the Centennial of 1876 and I 
did this from day to day during the period of the 

"In 1874, I was in Alabama, and while there I 
went to Athens, Limestone County, and persuaded 
George S. Houston of that place to consent to the 
appeals of the people to make the race for governor 
and he said' to me he was too near the Tennessee line 
and felt it would be a disadvantage not being centrally 
located in the state. I told him that he would be 
nominated anyway and he gave me his consent to 
place him in nomination. 

"I then went to Huntsville, Madison County, Ala- 
bama, and secured the support of Colonel Wm. M. 
Lowe, a gallant confederate soldier and able states- 
man who begun to make sure of his county for Hous- 
ton. I worked for him in Morgan, my adopted 


county, and he was elected and served two terms and 
redeemed Alabama from "Carpet Bag" and negro 

"I visited Colonel Wm, M. Lowe, in the home of 
Colonel Nicholas Davis, with whom he made his 
home, Colonel Nicholas Davis being his brother-in- 
law, and met Colonel Davis not long before his death 
in 1874. It has been stated erroneously that Colonel 
Nicholas Davis was a scalawag. There was never a 
greater falsehood stated in any history. He was a 
very distinguished lawyer and fine man. He was a 
member of the Secession Convention and wrote the 
resolution to the ordinance of secession to submit it 
to the people. 

"During the Ku Klux Klan hearings held in 
Huntsville in 1871, Colonel Nicholas Davis was a 
witness before the Committee of Congress on the 
Ku Klux Acts, and his position in politics was falsely 
reported in these hearings. I know that the Ku Klux 
Klan elected George S. Houston governor when he 
redeemed Alabama from debt and disaster. Before I 
left Louisiana I was affiliated with the White League. 
After moving to Alabama I lived in the mountains far 
removed from a railroad, and so isolated that I could 
not leave my wife alone and could not ride with the 
Ku Klux Klan at night, but attended to the political 
affairs for them in the day time, and state here that 
the Ku Klux Klan redeemed the South from oppres- 
sion, and restored the seceding States to the Union. 

"In 1879 I founded the National View, Washing- 
ton, D. C, a greenback, silver labor paper and edited 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 79 

it until 1894. I then suspended it and migrated to 
Arizona. I suggested George W. B. Hunt for the 
first governor of that state after its admission into 
the Union. He served three full terms and after an 
interval of many years was elected for the fourth term 
and is now governor of Arizona. Governor Hunt is 
a native of Huntsville, Missouri." 

I greatly appreciate the preceding statements 
made by Col. Lee Crandall, "America's Grand Old 
Man." He is 91 years old and still in active service 
in the U. S. Government. He is 2nd Lieutenant 
Commander of United Confederate Veterans Camp, 
No. 171, Washington, D. C, and is greatly beloved 
and honored by a host of friends. 

On the occasion of President Harding's funeral he 
marched alone from 19th Street to the Capitol to pay 
his respects as a Confederate soldier to his dead presi- 
dent, and was called the "Lone Figure in Gray." 
Mrs. Lee Crandall is a beautiful and brilliant 
woman and she and her devoted husband are the most 
youthful couple I have ever known of their ages, and 
they typify the old South and the new South. 




TENN., MAY, 1867 

Previous to the assembling of the Convention the 
Pulaski Ku Klux Klan had given permission to men 
in Fayetteville, Lincoln County, Tenn., and Hunts- 
ville, Madison County, Alabama, to form Ku Klux 
Klans. It was around these four adjoining counties, 
that the Ku Klux Klan pivoted throughout its entire 

The Pulaski Ku Klux Klan at this time had de- 
cided fully that, at this proposed Convention, a leader 
for all Ku Klux Klan activities which might develop 
throughout the South should be chosen, and toward 
that end, they sent emissaries to place before General 
Robert E. Lee, the fact that the Ku Klux Klan which 
had started merely in sport, was rapidly reaching tre- 
mendous proportions as a force for meeting distress- 
ing conditions in the South, and to ascertain if its 
continuance would meet his approval. 

The men who were chosen to see General Lee were 
Major Felix G. Buchanan, of Lincoln County; Cap- 
tain John B. Kennedy of the Pulaski Ku Klux Klan, 
Captain William Richardson of the Athens Ku Klux 
Klan, Bishop Richard H. Wilmer, and Captain John 
B. Floyd, of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. 


KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 81 

General Lee was told in the most impressive man- 
ner possible of the good already done by the Ku Klux 
Klan, in the hope that he would express a wish to join 
them, but he did not make application. 

He said to them, "I would like to assist you in any 
plan that offers relief. I cannot be with you in person 
but I will follow you but must be invisible; and my 
advice is to keep it as you have it, a protective 

When this message was delivered to the Convention 
it led to the christening of the United Ku Klux Klan, 
the "Invisible Empire," for they felt that General 
Lee was their "guiding spirit." 

Captain William Richardson suggested General 
Nathan B. Forrest for the leader of the Ku Klux 
Klan, if it met with General Lee's approval, and he 
said: "General Nathan B. Forrest is the only man I 
know who could lead so large a body of men suc- 
cessfully. You may present to him my compliments 
and ask him if he will accept the leadership." 

The emissaries returned and immediately after- 
wards a general meeting of the four counties, Giles, 
Lincoln, Limestone and Madison, was held at "The 
Cove," the meeting place near Athens, Alabama. 
Captain DeWitt Clinton Davis, a member of the 
Madison County Ku Klux Klan, was appointed to 
visit General Forrest at Memphis and invite him to 
become the leader of the Ku Klux Klan. 

Captain Davis had been an officer in "Forrest's 
Cavalry," and Captain William Richardson accom- 
panied him to Memphis to express his gratitude to 


General Forrest for having rescued him at Murf rees- 
boro, Tennessee, during the "War between the 
States,'' from being shot as a spy, which he was not. 

The Federal guards set fire to the jail when they 
found that General Forrest had come to liberate the 
"Rebels." For this act, the Federal commander had 
these guards court-martialed and shot when General 
Forrest had them identified by Captain Richardson 
and another Confederate prisoner sentenced with 

General Forrest returned to Athens with Captain 
Davis. He expressed great pleasure at being able to 
visit again the scene where in September, 1864, he had 
come to the rescue of this town when it was being 
burned by the Federal troops under the leadership of 
Col. Wallace Campbell, U. S. A. 

The people of Athens were determined to show all 
honor to General Forrest on this visit, for it was still 
fresh in their memories, that he came before daylight 
on Sept. 24, 1864, when a strong garrison of the 
United States Army was in possession of the town of 
Athens, and they were prepared to defend it by for- 
midable forts and block-houses. 

These block-houses were supposed to be impreg- 
nable, but they proved an easy mark for Forrest's 
artillery when General Forrest ordered Captain John 
W. Morton to bring two guns into action. The guns 
were placed in the street leading to the Fort and the 
shots tore straight through the embankment. 

General Forrest heard a train coming in from De- 
catur on which he was advised were Federal Troops to 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 83 

reinforce the garrison. The soldiers left the train and 
barricaded themselves behind cross-ties which were 
corded up near the track. They began a terrific fire 
on the Confederates. Col. D. C. Kelly, C. S. A., 
ordered his men to dismount and charge the foe be- 
hind the cord wood. 

General Lyon was skirmishing behind the enemy's 
rear. The retreat of the Federal army was so rapid 
that it ran into General Lyon's line and captured it. 
The line captured was commanded by a gallant young 
soldier, Capt. Henry C. Klyce. Having taken Klyce 
their prisoner he told the Federal commander, that 
General Forrest had completely surrounded the town 
and further fighting would only subject the men on 
both sides, to their own fire. 

The capture of Athens, Alabama, has been pro- 
nounced by military men as one of the most adroit 
performances of the great cavalry leader for the 
C. S. A., Nathan B. Forrest, and was at that time 
the fulfillment of a great need, as a large supply of 
provisions, horses and ammunition, was captured. 

When General Forrest heard of the occupation of 
Athens, Ala., by the Federals, he was at Florence, 
Ala., and encamped near Muscle Shoals, forty 
miles away. He made a pontoon bridge across the 
river and within a few hours had reached Athens in a 
heavy rain storm, at night. At daybreak he ordered 
his soldiers to line up and hold their position, until 
further orders. 

He then decided that it would be almost impossible 
to capture the block-houses on the western side of the 


town from where his line of battle was drawn; so he 
informed the U. S. A. commander that his full army- 
was at the gates and it was useless to sacrifice life, for 
he soon could overcome him with great numbers. 
General Forrest then issued the following order. 

"Headquarters Forrest Cavalry 

In the Field, Sept. 24, 1864. 
Officer Commanding U. S. Forces, Athens, Ala. 

I demand an immediate and unconditional surren- 
der of the entire force and all government stores and 
property of this post. I have a sufficient force to 
storm and take your works, and if I am forced to do 
so the responsibility of the consequences must rest 
with you. Should you, however, accept the terms, all 
white soldiers shall be treated as prisoners of war, and 
the negroes returned to their masters. A reply is re- 
quested immediately. 

N. B. Forrest, 
Major-General, C. S. Army." 

Col. Wallace Campbell, 110th United States 
Colored Cavalry, Commanding, sent a message, 
have the honor to decline your demand of this date." 

General Forrest then asked for a personal inter- 
view, and sent the following: 

"Colonel, I desire an interview with you outside the 
fort at any place you may designate, provided it meet! 
your views. My only object is to stop the effusion oj 
blood that must follow the storming of the place. 

(signed) N. B, Forrest." 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 85 

General Forrest sent this note under flag of truce 
by Major Strane and Col. Campbell met him on the 
Coleman Hill near the old home of Judge Daniel 
Coleman, and after their conversation Col. Campbell 
said in his report to the government that he returned 
to the fort believing in the legerdemain by which 
General Forrest made four thousand five hundred 
men appear as ten thousand, and told his officers that 
he would be compelled to surrender the fort. 

The Federals lost three men and four were 
wounded before they escaped into the forts when they 
encountered Colonel Jesse Forrest's picket line. He 
was General Forrest's brother. One of these soldiers 
killed at Athens, Ala., Captain Tarpley, said to Col. 
D. C. Kelly of Forrest's command, when he was 
dying, that he hoped he would have him buried at 
Athens, Ala., until his mother could come for him. 
He still sleeps there beside many Confederate dead, 
and each Decoration Day his grave is laden with flow- 
ers by the Daughters of the Confederacy, as his 
mother was never found. 

The terms of surrender between General Forrest 
and Colonel Wallace were concluded in the Court 
House yard at Athens, Ala., where a monument now 
stands commemorating it. 

After General Forrest left Athens, Ala., he 
marched on to Sulphur Trestle near Pulaski, Tenn., 
where he destroyed forts and block-houses on the 
Louisville and Nashville Railroad and held in check 
within the breastworks of Pulaski, Tenn., large Fed- 
eral forces, thereby saving this town from destruction. 


Huntsville, Ala., had a strong Federal garrison, 
and General Forrest sent part of his division to 
threaten it, and was the means of saving that beau- 
tiful city. 

Is it any wonder that the citizens of these three 
towns where the Ku Klux Klan originated, turned to 
him again in their dire distress which was much worse 
than the Civil War, and asked him to lead them? 

Previous to the Convention the Pulaski Ku Klux 
Klan had hundreds of applications throughout the 
South for permission to organize Ku Klux Klans. 
Their requests were granted with directions to send 
delegates to the Convention at Nashville, Tennessee, 
in May. Upon the date set delegates of these Klans 
assembled, proving that the Klan had spread like a 
conflagration, answering the one call: "White 

This was in May, 1867, and at the time Nashville 
was under martial law, and many Federal officers 
were established in the "Maxwell House," which is 
shown in the picture. The Ku Klux Klan Conven- 
tion convened in this hotel in Room No. 10, without 
the knowledge of the Federal authorities, as they 
went as silently as they came. General Forrest was 
administered the oath as Grand Wizard of the "In- 
visible Empire," by Colonel J. W. Morton who had 
commanded the artillery in "Forrest's Cavalry," and 
who was Grand Cyclops of the Nashville Den, Ku 
Klux Klan. He was requested to accept this honor 
by Captain John C. Lester, of the founders' Ku 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 87 

Klux Klan of Pulaski, as until this time he had ad- 
ministered the oath to all members. 

The plan of the Ku Klux Klan for reorganization 
previously prepared was submitted to this convention 
and adopted. The Ku Klux Klan was for the first 
time designated as the "Invisible Empire," based on 
the report of the committee sent to General Robert E. 
Lee, stating that he would be with them but would be 
"invisible." When this report was given many of 
"Forrest's Cavalry" present arose and shouted, 
"Wizard of the Saddle!" And Major James R. 
Crowe said, "I nominate him 'Grand Wizard of the 
Invisible Empire!' " 

The powers of the Grand Wizard were almost auto- 
cratic. His ten assistants were called Genii. The 
"Invisible Empire" was subdivided into Realms; the 
Realms were divided into Dominions, which were the 
Congressional districts; and the Dominions were di- 
vided into Provinces which were the limits of the 
county and the Provinces into Dens. 

The chief officer of the Realm was called the 
"Grand Dragon" and his eight assistants "Hydras." 
The head of the Dominion was called "Grand Titan," 
and his six assistants "Furies." The chief of the 
"Den" was still called "Grand Cyclops" and his as- 
sistants "Night Hawks." The other officers of the 
"Invisible Empire" were "Grand Monk," a "Grand 
Sentinel" and a "Grand Scribe." The Genii, Hy- 
dras, and Night Hawks were staff officers. The only 
titles in plain English were Surgeon-in-Chief, Chap- 
lain-in-Chief, and Judiciary-in-Chief . I asked an old 


Ku Klux Klansman why this was and he said: 
"When a Ku Klux needed them he would wish to call 
them in plain words." 

The Ku Klux Klan was one of the best organized 
orders that ever existed in the world, based as it was, 
on secrecy, mystery and the word of honor between 
men, for then "knighthood was in flower." 

This convention adopted the following principles: 

"We recognize our relation to the United States 
Government, the supremacy of the Constitutional 
laws thereof, and the union of States thereunder." 

"To protect the weak, the innocent, the defenseless, 
from the indignities, wrongs and outrages of the law- 
less, the violent and the brutal; to relieve the in- 
jured and oppressed, succor the suffering; especially 
the widows and orphans of Confederate soldiers; to 
protect and defend the Constitution of the United 
States, and all laws in conformity thereto; and to 
protect the states and the people thereof from all 
invasion from any source whatsoever. To aid and 
assist in the execution of all constitutional laws; to 
protect the people from unlawful seizure, and from 
trial except by their peers, in conformity to the laws 
of the land." 

This last resolution was adopted because of the in- 
famous legislation which had been passed against the 
Confederate soldiers on June 3, 1865, by the 34th 
General Assembly of Tennessee, which revived the 
sedition law and deprived the Confederate soldiers 
and all southern sympathizers of the right of suffrage. 

The hope of this Convention was that the strength- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 89 

ening of the organization would enable it to enact 
its role as Regulators with greater success. 

The parades which had attracted much attention 
were recommended by General Nathan B. Forrest to 
be continued, and he issued an order to the Grand 
Dragons of the Realms for a parade to be held in 
each province on the night of July 4, 1867. 

The Order was named in the first week of its exis- 
tence the "Ku Klux Klan" and it is believed that this 
weird alliteration, by its appeal to the imagination of 
men, was one of the greatest sources of its power, as 
it led through curiosity, to its growth. 

No one was ever asked to join the Ku Klux Klan 
except General Nathan Bedford Forrest, when he 
was invited to be its leader; and he agreed to do so in 
fulfillment of his pledge to his army on the day when 
he first learned that General Robert E. Lee had sur- 
rendered; and, when he surrendered, he said to his 
soldiers: "Be firm and unwavering, discharging 
every duty devolving upon you. For my part, with 
undiminished confidence in your courage and forti- 
tude, and knowing you will not disregard the claims 
of honor, patriotism and manhood, and those of the 
women and children of the country, so long de- 
fended by your strong arms and willing hearts, 
your commander announces his determination to 
stand by you, stay with you and lead you to the 

He kept his pledge by his tactics as Grand Wizard 
of the Ku Klux Klan. He won freedom for the 
Southland, and down the ages of time his fame will 


shine none the less brightly as one of the world's 
greatest cavalry leaders because he was a Ku Klux 
Klansman from 1865-1877. 

This brief biography of General Nathan B. Forrest 
is given in order that the most sceptical reader will 
believe that in that dark hour the South had a leader. 

Nathan Bedford Forrest was born at Chapel Hill, 
Tennessee, July 13, 1821. Enlisted as a private in 
the Confederate States Army in 1861. Captain, Ten- 
nessee Cavalry, 1861. Colonel of Forrest's Regiment 
of Cavalry, May 1861. Brigadier-General July 21, 
1862. Major General Dec. 4, 1863. Lieutenant 
General February 28, 1865. 

He won the name "The Wizard of the Saddle" be- 
cause he rose quickly from the ranks of the Company 
in which he enlisted, to a Commander, and "was a 
genius of war." He is today considered one of the 
world's greatest soldiers. 

General Forrest dismissed an officer from his com- 
mand for immorality. He never drank intoxicating 
liquors. He always held divine services in his tent 
on Sunday during the war. Col. D. C. Kelley, who 
was Chaplain in "Forrest's Cavalry," told me "he 
never failed to have him pray just before a fight." 
He was called the "Fighting Parson" by General 

General Forrest had a profound respect for wom- 
anhood — and was a devoted husband. He married 
Mary Montgomery, a brilliant woman, who was his 
inspiration. Governor James D. Porter, of Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, told me of the grief of Mr. Jefferson 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 91 

Davis, as they attended General Forrest's funeral 
together. He said Mr. Davis accorded General 
Forrest first place as a Cavalry leader of the Civil 

General Forrest died October 29, 1877, and beside 
the "Father of Waters" in the city of Memphis, he 
awaits the final bugle call, beloved for his great 
bravery in times of war, and for his leadership of the 
mysterious movements of the Ku Klux Klan which 
led to his being called the " Saviour of the South" and 
"Grand Wizard of the Invisible Empire." 

General Forrest made the most romantic record of 
all history during the Civil War. He captured mil- 
lions of dollars worth of supplies, cannon, ammuni- 
tion and horses, and captured 31,000 prisoners; had 
29 horses killed under him, rode thousands of miles 
by day and night ; was wounded seriously four times, 
and won the soubriquets "King of Mounted Raiders," 
"Stonewall Jackson of the West," "Wizard of the 
Saddle," and "The American Murat." 

The following statement is from the pen of one of 
"Forrest's Cavalry," a native of Mississippi and a 
distinguished Southern gentleman of the old school, 
Captain Fred Beall, Commander of Camp 171, 
United Confederate Veterans of the City of Wash- 
ington, District of Columbia: 

"I served under General Nathan Bedford Forrest 
from the date of the killing of General Earl VanDorn 

by Dr. , in the spring of 1863 at Spring Hill, 

Tennessee, for breaking up the peace of his home, 
until he sent me to Mississippi on a very special 


service. When it was known that the general had 
been killed a number of my comrades in arms followed 
the distinguished citizen who killed him to try to cap- 
ture him, but he had planned his escape so well by 
leaving down fences and opening gates throughout 
the plantations that he was not overtaken. 

"I did not go in pursuit of him for I thought Gen- 
eral VanDorn ought to have been killed, believing as 
I did then, and as I do now that men should always 
protect the honor of womanhood when attacked either 
by high or low. 

"After the close of the war between the Southern 
States and the Federal Government, General Forrest 
undertook to build a railroad from Selma, Ala., to 
Memphis. The proposed line of said railroad ran 
through Lowndes County, Mississippi, in which I 
then resided and practiced law, at West Point, about 
16 miles from the beautiful city of Columbus, the 
capital of said county. 

"General Forrest was making a canvass through 
the section of the county through which his railroad 
was to be built, and came to my town with quite a 
large number of lawyers and other prominent citizens 
from Columbus to address our people in the interests 
of his railroad. 

"I did not have any desire to oppose General 
Forrest, but felt it to be my duty as a citizen to op- 
pose his scheme to tax the people at that time for the 
purpose of building a railroad and accordingly was 
one of the speakers to oppose the levy of taxes for 
that purpose. 

The Tree at the Cove Spring, three miles from Athens, 
Alabama, under which General Nathan Bedford Forrest, 
Confederate States Army, was administered the preliminary 
oath of the Ku Klux Klan by Captain John C. Lester. 

(Photographed by W. A. Rosser, Birmingham View Co.) 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 93 

"General Forrest in the greatness and sublimity of 
his noble heart took occasion to say when he began 
to speak: 

" 'I sincerely regret that my old army friend, Cap- 
tain Fred Beall, who was one of the most gallant 
officers in my command has seen it proper to oppose 
the levying of a tax in this county for the purpose of 
building a railroad — something greatly needed in this 
section of the grand old State of Mississippi.' 

"By the aid of the negro vote he carried the tax 
but we had it annulled by the United States Court. 
It was never collected and the railroad was never 
built. In the meantime General Forrest had resumed 
his citizenship in Memphis, Tennessee, became a fol- 
lower of the Meek and Lowly Jesus, and Dr. Stain- 
back, his pastor, told me some time after the death of 
General Forrest that he was with him when he died 
and that he never saw a more beautiful death-bed 
scene in all his life than was that of General Forrest. 

"He said that the General was truly a converted 
man and died in the full and real hope of a man who 
'had been born again.' 

"May I add that General Forrest neither drank in- 
toxicants or used tobacco in any form during all his 
life, but strictly abstained from everything of this 

"I not only served under General Forrest in the 
Southern Army and then learned to love and honor 
him, but have always believed him to be the greatest 
military genius of the war. 

"General Forrest was Grand Wizard of the In- 


visible Empire (of the Ku Klux Klan) and while 
attempting to build this railroad he found conditions 
so unbearable in Mississippi on account of the recon- 
struction measures of the general government that he 
personally organized the Realm of Mississippi, and 
I served under him as one of the officers of the Realm 
of Mississippi and am proud of it, he having ap- 
pointed me. 

"General James Z. George was appointed by Gen- 
eral Forrest Grand Dragon of the Realm of Mis- 
sissippi, 'Invisible Empire.' " 

Mrs. Chattie A. Beall, wife of Captain Fred 
Beall, was born January 13, 1842, and was a 
daughter of Peter and Mariah McEachin of Floral 
College in the vicinity of Lumberton, North Caro- 
lina, and married Captain Fred Beall in West Point, 
Mississippi, November 24, 1874. Before her mar- 
riage, she was correspondent for magazines and large 
and popular newspapers. She wrote stories and in 
this respect acquired much popularity. She was of 
the social staff of the Picayune and Times-Democrat 
of New Orleans, the Memphis Appeal, the Birming- 
ham-Age Herald, Mobile Register, and the local 
papers of West Point, Mississippi, under the name 
"Dora Dunbar," and other noms de plume. She 
wrote poetry and set it to music and is a most 
accomplished musician. She is a devoted Christian, 
an active worker in temperance, but was heartily 
opposed to woman's suffrage. She made the Ku Klux 
regalia for her husband, and other Klansmen. 

Mrs. Beall's ancestors were Scotch. She loves 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 95 

the South and Southern people, but bears no ill will 
towards the people of the North. She recognizes the 
great services of the Ku Klux Klan and claims that 
they saved the civilization of the South. Captain 
Beall says of his beloved wife: "In my opinion she 
is the greatest woman who ever lived." 


On the day appointed by General Forrest at the 
Convention, for the first general parade throughout 
the South of the Ku Klux Klan, the streets were 
strewn with slips of paper and notices posted along 
the highways, "Ku Klux Klan will parade tonight." 
Throngs of people came to points of vantage to see 
the parade. A sky-rocket sent up was the signal 
for the Ku Klux Klans to move. The necessary 
orders were given by signals from the whistles which 
the Ku Klux Klan had adopted. With funereal 
slowness the white clad masked men marched and 

Curiosity which had brought out the great crowds 
of people was not gratified. Those who had eome 
with the hope of finding out who were the Ku Klux 
Klan, were disappointed. For they appeared and 
disappeared as silently as though they were spirits 
from the nearby battlefield. The horses as well as 
their riders were completely disguised in white. 

The parades exerted a terrifying and wholesome 
influence over the lawless element throughout the 

General Nathan B. Forrest paraded for the first 
time with the Ku Klux Klan at Pulaski, Tennessee, 


KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 97 

and initiated the original Ku Klux Klan into some of 
his tactics which had won such fame for him during 
the Civil War; elusive tactics, marching and counter- 
marching in such a manner as to bewilder the eye- 
witnesses and lead them into believing that there 
were many thousands of men, while in reality there 
were only a few hundred. He then rode to Athens, 
Alabama, accompanied by members of that Ku Klux 
Klan, which was twenty-five miles from Pulaski, and 
reached there about midnight, where he began re- 
enacting the tactics which he originally employed at 
the "Battle of Athens." 

One of the incidents of the Athens parade was 
recently told me by the wife of one of the Athens 
Ku Klux Klan, that there lived in Athens a Northern 
man and woman who had been residents of the town 
for many years before the Civil War, and on account 
of their age and good conduct had never been molested 
during the entire period of the War, and had not 
been afraid of the Confederate soldiers. 

But on seeing the Ku Klux Klan as they rode 
around the Court House square on which stood the 
burned walls of the Court House, which had been 
destroyed during the Civil War by Federal soldiers, 
and which weird background reflected by the torch- 
lights carried by the Ku Klux Klan, was a scene cal- 
culated to appall the stoutest heart, the Northern 
woman who was a Catholic, ran to and fro, praying 
to the "Virgin Mary" and counting her beads. Her 
husband came to her and said : "For God's sake stop 
counting your beads and go straight to Jesus Christ, 


for no Yankees are safe here with these spirits of 
the dead Confederates." 

The woman who told me said she went to the couple 
and assured them that no harm should come to them, 
but the old gentleman said : "I have never been afraid 
of the living Confederates, but I am of these dead 
ones." The woman herself, who was trying to com- 
fort and allay the fright of the old people, admitted 
that she felt the power and mystery of the Ku Klux 
Klan, although she knew that her own husband was 
one of them, parading, as she had made his uniform. 

The first simultaneous parades of the Ku Klux 
Klan, came and went, "like wraiths in the night," and 
left a profound impression on the people through- 
out the country. Many things had happened pre- 
vious to these parades which had aroused the entire 
south and caused bitterness and resentment such as 
had never been engendered by the War, and the 
people felt that the Ku Klux Klan was a serious or- 
ganization and that their power would be invaluable 
to them in correcting these conditions. 

The most important of these unjust acts was 
the interference of the general government with pub- 
lic worship in the State of Alabama. This had heen a 
subject of great excitement and controversy since 
June 1865, when the Right Rev. Richard Hooker 
Wilmer, Bishop of Alabama, in a letter to the clergy 
and laity issued his famous pastoral circular which is 
quoted in General Order No. 38, the Order which 
struck at the foundation of religious liberty by the 
United States Government. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 99 

Department of Alabama. 

Mobile, Ala., Sept. 20, 1865. 
General Orders. No. 38 : 

"The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United 
States has established a form of Prayer to be used 
for the President of the United States and all in 
Civil Authority. During the continuance of the late 
wicked and groundless rebellion, the prayer was 
changed to one for the President of the Confederate 
States, and, so altered, was used in the Protestant 
Episcopal churches of the Diocese of Alabama. 

"Since the 'lapse' of the Confederate Government 
and the restoration of the authority of the United 
States over the late rebellious States the prayer for 
the President has been altogether omitted in the 
Episcopal churches of Alabama. 

"This omission was recommended by the Right 
Rev. Richard Hooker Wilmer, Bishop of Alabama, 
in a letter to the clergy and laity, dated June 20, 
1865. The only reason given by Bishop Wilmer for 
the omission of the prayer, which, to use his own 
language, was established by the highest ecclesiastical 
authorities, and has for many years constituted a part 
of the Liturgy of the Church, is stated by him in the 
following words : 

" 'Now, the Church in this country has established 
a form of prayer for the President and all in civil 
authority. The language of the prayer was selected 
by careful reference to the subject of the prayer — 


"All in Civil Authority"; and she desires for that 
authority prosperity and long continuance. No one 
can reasonably be expected to desire a long contin- 
uance of military rule. Therefore the prayer is alto- 
gether inappropriate and inapplicable to the present 
conditions of things, when no civil authority exists 
in the exercise of its functions. Hence, as I remarked 
in the Circular, "we may yield a true allegiance to, 
and sincerely pray for grace, wisdom and understand- 
ing in behalf of, a government founded upon force, 
while at the same time we could not in good con- 
science ask for its continuance, prosperity," ' etc., etc. 

"It will be observed from this extract — 1st, That 
the Bishop, because he cannot pray for the continu- 
ance of 'military rule/ therefore declines to pray for 
those in authority. 2nd, He declares the prayer 
inappropriate because no civil authority (exists) in 
the exercise of its functions. 

"On the 20th of June, the date of this letter, there 
was a President of the United States, a Cabinet, 
Judges of the Supreme Court, and thousands of 
other civil officers of the United States, all in the ex- 
ercise of their functions. It was for them specially 
that this form of prayer was established, yet the 
Bishop cannot among all these find any subject 
worthy of his prayers. Since the publication of this 
letter a Civil Governor has been appointed for the 
State of Alabama, and in every county, Judges and 
Sheriffs have been appointed, and all these are, and 
for weeks have been, in the exercise of their functions; 
yet the prayer has not been restored. 


of Alabama, who suggested that General Nathan, B. Forrest be 
invited to become the leader of the Ku Klux Klan. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 101 

"The prayer which the Bishop advised to be 
omitted is not a prayer for the continuance of mili- 
tary rule, or the continuance of any particular form 
of government, or any particular person in power. 
It is simply a prayer for the temporal and spiritual 
weal of the persons in whose behalf it is offered. 

"It is a prayer to the High and Mighty Ruler of 
the Universe that He would with His power behold 
and bless the President of the United States and all 
others in authority — that He would replenish them 
with the grace of His Holy Spirit that they may 
always incline to His will and walk in His ways ; that 
He would endow them plenteously with heavenly 
gifts, grant them in health and prosperity, long to 
live, and finally after this life to attain everlasting 
joy and felicity. It is a prayer at once applicable 
and appropriate, and which any heart not filled with 
hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness, could con- 
scientiously offer. 

"The advice of the Bishop to omit the prayer, and 
its omission by the clergy, is not only a violation of 
the canons of the Church, but shows a factious and 
disloyal spirit, and is a marked insult to every loyal 
citizen within the Department. Such men are unsafe 
teachers, and not to be trusted in places of power and 
influence over public opinion. 

"It is therefore ordered, pursuant to the instruc- 
tions of Major General Thomas, commanding mili- 
tary Division of Tennessee, that said Richard Wil- 
mer, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of 
the Diocese of Alabama, and the Protestant Episco- 


pal clergy of said diocese, be, and they are hereby 
forbidden to preach or perform divine service, and 
that their places of worship be closed until such a time 
as said Bishop and clergy show a sincere return to 
their allegiance to the Government of the United 
States, and give evidence of a loyal and patriotic 
spirit by offering to resume the use of the prayer for 
the President of the United States and all in civil 
authority, and by taking the amnesty oath prescribed 
by the President. 

"This prohibition shall continue in each individual 
case until special application is made through the 
military channels of these headquarters for permis- 
sion to preach and perform divine service, and until 
such application is approved at these or superior 

"District commanders are required to see that this 
order is carried into effect. 

"By order of Major General Charles R. Wood. 
"Fred H. Wilson, A.A.G." 

Bishop Richard Hooker Wilmer (known as the 
"Rebel Bishop" as he was the only Bishop conse- 
crated during the Civil War,) said to General Wood: 

"No one can be expected to pray for a continuance 
of military rule." 

He then asked to have the order rescinded, but his 
request was refused. 

Bishop Wilmer went to Washington on his own ini- 
tiative to call on the President in person and report 
this condition. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 103 

He said to the President: "The Constitution pro- 
hibits Congress from interfering with religious wor- 
ship, and I ask you to see to it that Congress not be 
allowed through either of her arms, civil or military, 
to do what is prohibited to herself." 

He asked that General Order No. 38 be rescinded, 
which President Johnson ordered the General in 
Command to do. 

This act was indelibly impressed not alone upon 
the history of the Church of which Bishop Wilmer 
was so conspicuous a leader, but upon the history of 
our country as relates to church and state, which was 
separated by the founders of this country and sets a 
precedent for all time to come ; and, in the words of 
the Right Rev. William S. Perry, Bishop of Iowa, 
historian of this Church: "This action of the Bishop 
established for all time to come in this land at least, 
the principle that in 'Spiritualities' the Church's rule 
is supreme." 

Bishop Wilmer's clear-headed courage in dealing 
with this separation of Church and State challenged 
the admiration and cooperation of Father Abram 
Ryan who was a Virginian, as was Bishop Wilmer; 
and, the brave stand of these two great Southerners 
was perhaps one of the most potent powers in the 
growth of the Ku Klux Klan as they felt their very 
inherent rights were threatened. The Ku Klux Klan 
guarded his churches while Bishop Wilmer prayed 
in Alabama. I was informed by Bishop Richard H. 
Wilmer that he was Chaplain of the Ku Klux Klan 
for the Realm of Alabama, and that Father Abram 


Ryan was the Chaplain of the "Invisible Empire." 
This last fact was also given me by Mrs. Josephine 
Upshaw, a Catholic, who was a close friend of 
Father Ryan, and by Mrs. Henry J. Pepin, a 
Catholic, at whose home the Ku Klux Klan held 
meetings attended by Father Ryan, at Athens, Ala- 
bama, and by Colonel Sumner A. Cunningham. 
Abram Joseph Ryan was born in Norfolk, Virginia, 
1839, and died in Louisville, Ky., 1886. He was a 
Catholic priest, a chaplain in the Confederate States 
Army, and Chaplain-in-chief of the "Invisible Em- 
pire,' ' and did great work for the Ku Klux Klan. 
He was an editor and poet. His high literary gifts, 
which he used to glorify his beloved South, have given 
him an imperishable fame and place as a poet. 
Father Ryan wrote his immortal poem, "The Con- 
quered Banner," just after General Robert E. Lee's 

I was also given the fact that Father Ryan was the 
Chaplain of the "Invisible Empire" by General John 
B. Gordon and other Ku Klux Klansmen. 

The consensus of opinion of all the most influential 
Ku Klux whom I have interviewed, was, that had not 
the Churches of the South, in their separation, as 
was done by the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Meth- 
odists and Baptists, been interfered with in their wor- 
ship, and bitterly criticized by the Northern branch 
from which they had severed themselves, there would 
not have been such strength developed in the Ku 
Klux Klan, for among their number will be found 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 105 

the most distinguished leaders of all these Churches 
who felt the sting of the injustice done them on ac- 
count of this separation which was caused by the 
Civil War. 

In a letter written in 1866 by Bishop Wilmer to 
Bishop Hopkins of Vermont, giving reasons why the 
Episcopal Church South could not rejoin that of the 
North, he said : 

"Nor can we, by our silent presence, be faithless 
to the memory of our dead; nor can we consent to 
stand by, while others inscribe ' Traitor' on their tomb- 

At the time of the Convention there were only a 
few Ku Klux Klans comprising several hundreds out- 
side of Tennessee and Alabama. On the night of the 
Fourth of July Parades, 1867, as stated by General 
Forrest later, as a witness before the Congressional 
Committee, investigating the Ku Klux Klan, the 
Order had so increased as to attract country-wide 

By 1869 conditions had become intolerable in the 
South. Governor Brownlow of the State of Ten- 
nessee had armed the negroes, in addition to the white 
troops already stationed in the South, and directed 
them to fire on the Ku Klux Klan wherever seen. 

This Order, No. 38, coupled with the fact that out- 
rages were being committed under the disguise of the 
Ku Klux Klan in regions far removed from where the 
Klan existed, forced the Ku Klux Klan to print and 
publish General Order No. 1. 


Headquarters Realm No. 1. (Tennessee.) 
Dreadful Era, Black Epoch. 

Dreadful Hour. 

Whereas, Information of an authentic character 
has reached these headquarters that the blacks in the 
counties of Marshall, Maury, Giles and Lawrence 
( Term. ) , are organized into military companies, with 
the avowed purpose to make war upon and extermi- 
nate the Ku Klux Klan, said blacks are hereby 
solemnly warned and ordered to desist from further 
action in such organizations, if they exist. 

The G. D. (Grand Dragon) regrets the necessity 
of such an order. But this Ku Klux Klan shall not 
be outraged and interfered with by lawless negroes 
and meaner white men, who do not and never have 
understood our purposes. 

In the first place this Ku Klux Klan is not an insti- 
tution of violence, lawlessness and cruelty; it is not 
lawless; it is not aggressive; it is not military; it is not 

It is, essentially, originally and inherently a pro- 
tective organization. It proposes to execute law in- 
stead of resisting it; and to protect all good men, 
whether white or black, from the outrages and atroci- 
ties of bad men of both colors, who have been for the 
past three years a terror to society, and an injury 
to us all. 

The blacks seem to be impressed with the belief 
that this Ku Klux Klan is especially their enemy. 
We are not the enemy of the blacks, as long as they 
behave themselves, make no threats upon us, and do 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 107 

not attack or interfere with us ; but if they make war 
upon us they must abide the awful retribution that 
will follow. 

This Ku Klux Klan, while in its peaceful move- 
ments, and disturbing no one, has been fired into three 
times. This will not be endured any longer; and if it 
occurs again, and the parties be discovered, a re- 
morseless vengeance will be wreaked upon them. 

We reiterate that we are for peace and law and 
order. No man, white or black, shall be molested 
for his political sentiments. This Ku Klux Klan is 
not a political party ; it is not a military party ; it is a 
protective organization, and will never use violence 
except in resisting violence. 

Outrages have been perpetrated by irresponsible 
parties in the name of the Ku Klux Klan. Should 
such parties be apprehended, they will be dealt with 
in a manner to insure us future exemption from such 
imposition. These impostors have, in some instances, 
whipped negroes. This is wrong! Wrong! It is 
denounced by this Klan as it must be by all good and 
humane men. 

The Ku Klux Klan, now as in the past, is pro- 
hibited from doing such things. We are striving to 
protect all good, peaceful, well-disposed and law- 
abiding men, whether white or black. 

The G. D. deems this order due to the public, due 
to the Ku Klux Klan, and due to those who are mis- 
guided and misinformed. We therefore, request that 
all newspapers who are friendly to law, and peace, 
and the public welfare, will publish the same. 


By order of the G. D., Realm No. 1. 
By the Grand Scribe. 

The Scribe was Capt. John B. Kennedy, and he 
gave me this Order for this history. 

The Ku Klux Klan regretted the necessity for 
having to print or publish this General Order No. 1, 
because the "Interdiction" of the Ku Klux Klan pro- 
hibited any written or printed matter other than 
notices of their parades. 

Following is the original Interdiction, given me a 
few years before his death, by Captain John B. 
Kennedy, one of the original Ku Klux Klan: 

"The origin, mystery and Ritual of the Ku Klux 
Klan shall never be written, but the same shall be 
communicated orally and memorized by each mem- 


Many deeds of disorder occurring throughout the 
South, it became evident to the Ku Klux Klan that 
there were bogus organizations using their disguises, 
in order to shield themselves from detection in com- 
mitting crimes and to throw the blame on the Ku 
Klux Klan, so they had a new problem to face and 
they handled it in such a manner as to have proof 
positive that they were being imposed upon by men 
sent there from the North to make it appear that the 
Ku Klux were disturbing the peace. 

In many instances when men who could not give 
the Ku Klux Klan grips and pass-words were 
stripped of their disguises, it was found that they were 
negroes or "Brownlow Republicans." The Ku Klux 
would have them arrested by the very men whom they 
represented. This condition developed so rapidly and 
bore so directly upon "Brownlow's Loyal Men" that 
the anti-Ku Klux Laws were passed by "Parson 
Brownlow's" party of Tennessee, hoping thereby to 
prevent all men from disguising. 

Growing out of this situation in September 1868, 
the legislature of Tennessee was called by Governor 
Brownlow in extra session, and passed a most strin- 
gent and bloody Anti-Ku Klux statute. This was 



the climax of the most infamous legislation against 
the ex-Confederates and Southern sympathizers 
which ever disgraced the statute books of any country. 

This unconstitutional legislation began in 1865, in 
the passage of the Alien and Sedition Act, and cul- 
minated in the passage of the Anti-Ku Klux statute 
in 1868, a statute directed against any secret organi- 
zation, disguised or otherwise. This statute was un- 
constitutional, anarchistic and was one of the chief 
reasons for the spread of the Ku Klux Klan, as it 
aimed at the very life and liberty of the people of the 

The Anti-Ku Klux Law is quoted in full, as fol- 

if any person or persons shall unite with, associate 
with, promote or encourage any secret organization 
of persons who shall prowl through the country or 
towns of this State, by day or by night, disguised or 
otherwise, for the purpose of disturbing the peace, or 
alarming the peaceable citizens of any portion of this 
State, on conviction by any tribunal of this State, 
shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars, im- 
prisoned in the penitentiary not less than five years, 
and shall be rendered infamous. 

it shall be the duty of all the courts in this State, be- 
fore the impaneling of any grand jury or petit jury 
in any cause whatever, to inquire of the juror on oath, 
whether he shall be associated in any way obnoxious 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 HI 

to the first section of this act; and if such juror shall 
decline to give a voluntary answer, or shall answer 
affirmatively, such persons shall be disqualified as a 
juror in any case in any court in this State. 

for the purpose of facilitating the execution of the 
provisions of this act, it shall be the duty of the Prose- 
cuting Attorneys of this State or grand jurors, or 
either of them, to summon or cause to be summoned, 
any persons he shall have a well-grounded belief has 
any knowledge of such organization as described by 
the first section of this act, and if any person shall 
fail or refuse to obey such summons, or shall appear 
and refuse to testify, such persons so summoned shall 
suffer the penalty imposed by the first section of this 
act; and if such witness shall avoid the service of 
said subpoena or summons, the sheriff or other offi- 
cer, shall return such fact on said process, when the 
court shall order a copy of said process to be left at 
the last place of residence of such person sought to 
be summoned ; and if such person shall fail to appear 
according to the command of said process, said court 
shall enter a judgment NISI against such person 
for the sum of five hundred dollars, for which, SCI. 
FA. shall issue, as in other cases of forfeiture of 

no prosecutor shall be required on any indictment 
under the provisions of this act; and all the courts 
of this State shall give a remedial construction to the 
same; and that no presentment or indictment shall 


be quashed, or declared insufficient for want of form. 

it shall be the duty of all the courts of the State, 
at every term, for two years from and after the pas- 
sage of this act, to call before it all the officers thereof, 
who shall be sworn, and have this act read or ex- 
plained to them; and the court shall ask said officers 
if they shall have any knowledge of any person of 
the State, or out of it, that shall be guilty of any of 
the offenses contained in this act, and that, if at any 
time they shall come to such knowledge, or shall have 
a well-grounded belief that any person or persons 
shall be guilty of a violation of this act or any of its 
provisions, that they will immediately inform the 
Prosecuting Attorney for the State thereof; and if 
such Prosecuting Attorney, upon being so informed, 
shall fail, refuse or neglect to prosecute sjich person 
or persons so informed on, he shall be subject to the 
same penalties imposed by the first section of this 
act, and shall be stricken from the roll of attorneys in 
said court. 

if any officer, or other person, shall inform any other 
person that he or she is to be summoned as a witness 
under any of the provisions of this act, or any other 
statute or law of this State, with the intent and for 
the purpose of defeating any of the provisions of 
this act, or any criminal law of this State; or if any 
officer, clerk, sheriff or constable shall refuse or fail 
to perform any of the duties imposed by this Act, 
upon conviction, shall suffer the penalties by the first 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 113 

section of this act, and shall be disqualified from hold- 
ing office in this State for two years. 

if any person shall voluntarily inform on any person 
guilty of any of the provisions of this act, upon con- 
viction, such informant shall be entitled and receive 
one-half of the fine imposed ; and if any officer, three- 

if any person, guilty of any of the provisions or of- 
fenses enumerated in this act, that shall appear before 
any jury or prosecuting officer of the State, and shall 
inform him or them of any offense committed by any 
person or persons against the criminal laws of this 
State, such person or witness shall not be bound to 
answer to any charge for the violations of any pro- 
visions of any law about which such person or witness 
shall be examined; and the court shall protect such' 
witness from any prosecution whatever. 

where any process shall be issued against the person 
or any citizen in any county of this State for any vio- 
lations of the provisions of this act, and such shall be 
returned not executed, for any cause whatever, by the 
sheriff or other officer, to the court from which it was 
issued, with an affidavit appended thereto, plainly 
setting forth the reason for the non-execution of such 
process, then it shall be the duty of the clerk, without 
delay to issue an ALIAS CAPIAS to the same 
county, if the home of the defendant shall be in said 
county, either in part or in whole, when said sheriff 


or other officer shall give notice to the inhabitants of 
said county by posting such notice at the court house 
of said county, of the existence of said capias; and 
if the inhabitants of such county shall permit such 
defendant to be or to live in said county, in part or in 
whole, the inhabitants shall be subject to an assess- 
ment of not less than five hundred dollars, nor more 
than five thousand dollars, at the discretion of the 
court, which said assessment shall be made in the 
following manner, to-wit : When the sheriff or other 
officer shall return his ALIAS CAPIAS, showing 
that said defendant is an inhabitant of said county, 
in part, or in whole, and that the citizens thereof have 
failed or refused to arrest said defendant, which every 
citizen is authorized hereby to do or perform, said 
court shall order SCI. FA. to issue to the proper 
officer to make known to the chairman, judge or other 
presiding officer of the County Court, to appear and 
show cause why final judgment should not have been 
entered up accordingly; which if any County Court 
fails or refuses to do and perform, any judge in va- 
cation, shall grant a MANDAMUS to compel said 
County Court to assess and collect said assessment, 
to be paid into the State treasury for the benefit of 
the school fund; provided, said assessment shall not 
be made of the sheriff or other officer, upon the re- 
turn of the original, or ALIAS writs, show cause why 
the same cannot be executed, which may be done by 
his affidavit and two respectable witnesses known to 
the court as such. 


KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 115 

all the inhabitants in this State shall be authorized 
to arrest any person defendant, under the provisions 
of this act, in any county in this State without 

if any person or persons shall write, publish, advise, 
entreat or persuade, privately or publicly, any class 
of persons, or any individual, to resist any of the laws 
of this State calculated to molest or disturb the good 
people and peaceable citizens of the State, such per- 
sons shall be subject to the penalties of the first sec- 
tion of this act ; and if an attorney at law, he shall be 
stricken from the roll of attorneys, and be prevented 
from practicing in any court in this State. 

if any person shall make threats against any elector 
or person authorized to exercise the elective franchise, 
with the intention of intimidating or preventing such 
person or persons from attending any election in this 
State, they shall be subject to the penalties inflicted 
by the first section of this act. 

if any person or persons shall attempt to break up 
any election in this State, or advise the same to be 
done, with a view of preventing the lawful or quali- 
fied citizens of this State from voting, they shall be 
subject to the penalties prescribed by the first section 
of this act; and the attorney of the State in all convic- 
tions under the provisions of this act, shall be en- 
titled to a tax fee of one hundred dollars, to be taxed 
in the bill of costs, and to be paid by the defendant. 


And the attorney prosecuting for the State shall keep 
all information given him a secret, unless it shall be 
necessary in the opinion of the court, that the same 
should be made public. 

it shall be the duty of all the judges in this State to 
read this act to the grand juries, and give it especially 
in charge to said juries. 

the treasurer of this State shall not be authorized to 
pay any judge in this State any salary, or to any 
clerk, sheriff, or attorney, any fee or bill of costs that 
may accrue to such parties under the provisions of 
this act until such judge or other officer shall have 
filed with the comptroller or treasurer an affidavit 
plainly setting forth that he has fully complied with 
the provisions of this act. 

if any person or citizen of this State shall voluntarily 
feed, or lodge, or entertain, or conceal in the woods 
or elsewhere any offender known to such person to be 
charged with any criminal offense under this act, such 
person shall suffer the penalty prescribed by the first 
section of this act; provided, that this section shall 
not apply to persons who, under the ancient law, 
might feed or conceal the party charged. 

if any person, guilty of any of the offenses enumer- 
ated in this act, shall have, own or possess any real 
estate, held by deed or grant, or entry, or by fee, or 
entail in law, or equity, the same shall be bound for 

p».^«iii '.iiiiii 


of Alabama, of Forrest's Cavalry who was commissioned by 

the K.u Klux Klan to accompany Captain John C. Lester to 

extend the invitation to General Nathan B. Forrest to become 

the leader. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 117 

costs, fines or penalties imposed by any of the provi- 
sions of this act; and a lien is hereby declared to at- 
tach to all estates in law or equity, as above, dating 
from the day or night of the commission of the offense, 
which fact may be found by the jury trying the cause 
or any other jury impaneled for that purpose; and 
if in the opinion of the court the defendant has evaded 
the law, the jury shall find such fact, and the estate 
of the defendant shall be made liable for the cost of 
the State; and there shall be no limitation to the 
recovery of the same. 

if any person or persons shall be guilty of a violation 
of any of the provisions of this act, to the prejudice 
or injury of any individual, the jury trying the de- 
fendant shall, or may find such fact with the amount 
of injury sustained which shall be paid to the injured 
party or persons entitled to the same, by the laws 
of descent of this State, with all costs, and who shall 
have the same lien on the property of the defendant 
that is possessed or given to the State by this act. 

if any person shall knowingly make or cause to be 
made, any uniform or regalia, in part or in whole, by 
day or night, or shall be found in possession of the 
same, he, she or they shall be fined at the discretion 
of the court, and shall be rendered infamous. 

in addition to the oath prescribed by the constitution 
and oath of office every public officer shall swear that 
he has never been a member of the organization 


known as the Ku Klux Klan, or other disguised body 
of men, contrary to the laws of the State, and that he 
has neither directly nor indirectly aided, encouraged, 
supported or in any manner countenanced said 

the attorneys or prosecuting officers for the State, 
shall be entitled to and receive five per cent on all 
forfeitures or assessments made by this act, on com- 
pensations to be paid by the defendant. 

the standard of damages for injuries to individuals 
shall be as follows : For disturbing any of the officers 
of the State or any other person, by entering the 
house or houses, or place of residence of any such 
individual in the night, in a hostile manner, or against 
his will, the sum of ten thousand dollars ; and it shall 
be lawful for the person so assailed to kill the assail- 
ant. For killing any individual in the night twenty 
thousand dollars; provided such person killed was 
peaceable at that time. That all other injuries shall 
be assessed by the court and jury in proportion; and 
the court trying said causes may grant as many new 
trials as may, in his opinion, be necessary to attain 
the end of justice. 

all persons present, and not giving immediate infor- 
mation on the offenders, shall be regarded as guilty 
of a misdemeanor against the law, and shall be pun- 
ished accordingly. 


KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 119 

it shall not be lawful for any persons to publish any- 
proffered or pretended order of said secret, unlawful 
clans; and any person convicted under any of the 
provisions of this act, shall not claim, hold or possess 
any property, real or personal, exempt from execu- 
tion, fine penalty or costs, under this act; provided, 
that nothing herein contained shall be so construed as 
to prevent or exempt any person heretofore guilty of 
any of the offenses herein contained from the prose- 
cution under the law as it now stands. This act to 
take effect from after its passage. 

The same legislature that passed this law also au- 
thorized the Governor to organize a volunteer force 
to be known as the "Tennessee State Guards," and 
that it should be composed of "loyal men," and to be 
"loyal" in Tennesse was to be a "Brownlow Republi- 
can" and endorse such laws as the Anti-Ku Klux and 
Militia Laws. 

Under the Militia Law on the recommendation of 
ten Union men that troops were needed, the Governor 
could declare martial law in such counties as he chose, 
and this law provided that the expense of these troops 
should be collected from the people of the counties in 
which they were quartered. The "Tennessee State 
Guards" did go to several counties and commenced 
shooting on the Ku Klux Klan which was directly 
responsible for the issuing of the Klan's General 
Order No. 1, as previously stated. 

After the passage of the Anti-Ku Klux Law many 
men were arrested throughout the South but "no sin- 
gle instance occurred of the arrest of a disguised man 


who, when stripped of his mask, was found to be an 
original Ku Klux." The most famous of the trials of 
these men were held in Alabama and South Carolina 
at a cost' of many millions of dollars to the Federal 
Government, without a single conviction of a Ku 
Klux of the real Order. 

The sending of troops to Union City, Tennessee, 
led to the Ku Klux Klan guarding the town, and pa- 
troling the county day and night. During the time 
this situation obtained, a negro who was a stranger in 
the community, criminally assaulted a woman seventy 
years of age and attempted to murder her. The Ku 
Klux, fifteen hundred strong, pursued the negro man 
over the Kentucky line before they captured him. 
They then returned with him to Obion County where 
the crime was committed, and within a few hundred 
yards of where the Federal Troops were quartered, 
built a scaffold on which to hang him. But the 
woman's son, who was one of the Ku Klux, demanded 
that he be allowed to kill him and quietly walking to 
a nearby house, borrowed an axe and returning took 
the negro, and placing his head on a stump, severed 
it from his body. Not wishing to have the Ku Klux 
held responsible for this act, he had taken off his 
regalia, and he took the negro's head to the command- 
ing officer of the Militia, held high on a spike. The 
officer who made no attempt to arrest him told him 
that he would have done the same thing had his 
mother been the victim of that crime. 

The enactment of the Tennessee Anti-Ku Klux 
Laws caused General Forrest to resort to his war- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 121 

time tactics and he ostensibly suspended activities of 
the Ku Klux Klan in the way of parades and other 
public demonstrations, as this law would even operate 
in the punishment of the women who had made the 
regalia for them. 

These laws served only on the one hand to intensify 
the license of the unlawful, and on the other to drive 
the Ku Klux Klan into more secret but determined 

William P. ("Parson") Brownlow, the radical 
Governor of Tennessee, who passed these laws, made 
the following statement at a Convention in New 
York City, during reconstruction: 

"If I had the power I would arm every wolf, pan- 
ther, catamount and bear in the mountains of America, 
every crocodile in the swamps of Florida, every negro 
in the South, every devil in Hell, clothe them in the 
uniform of the Federal army, and turn them loose 
on the rebels of the South and exterminate every man, 
woman and child, south of Mason and Dixon's line. 
I would like to see negro troops under Ben Butler 
crowd every rebel into the Gulf of Mexico, and drown 
them as the devil did the hogs in the Sea of Galilee." 
He said, at a public meeting in Philadelphia, just 
after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee: "I 
am one of those who believe the war ended too soon. 
We have whipped the South but not enough. The 
loyal masses constitute an overwhelming majority of 
the people of this country and they intend to march 
again on the South and intend that the "second war" 
shall be no child's play. The "second army" will, as 


they ought to, make the entire South as God found 
the earth, without form, and void." 

Such "Salesmen of Hate" as Brownlow and Henry 
Ward Beecher and others, who were disseminating 
this withering blight through the North against the 
South had only one thing in mind, that the Govern- 
ment would attempt a negro republic in the Southern 
States, after killing all the white people, that such 
people as they would be able to exploit the free 
negroes and fill their pockets with their earnings. 

The Ku Klux Klan— by the help of God— out- 
witted these fiends in human form, and saved the 
South and its noble traditions, even the Powers of 
Darkness, led by them, could not prevail against the 
men of the "Invisible Empire." 

The views of the Minority of the Committee to 
Investigate Affairs in the Southern States given to 
the United States Senate, March 10, 1871, signed by 
Frank P. Blair, and T. F. Bayard, contain this state- 
ment with regard to the officials of the United States 
Government at that time: "From cruel men they are 
transformed into savage beasts, with no vestige of 
reason left, but what serves to furnish the invention 
and refinement of ferocious subtlety for purposes of 
which beasts are incapable and at which fiends would 

Among the firebrands of hate for the South sown 
throughout this country and Europe at that time was 
a book, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," written by that merce- 
nary, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, a shrewd Yankee 
woman who many years before the Civil War was in 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 12a 

need of money and conceived that novel which led to 
this war. In 1853 Dr. A. Woodward, a Northern 
man who lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, in a review 
of this book, said: "Should Mrs. Stowe's vile asper- 
sion of Southern character and her loose, reckless and 
wicked misrepresentations of the institution of slavery 
ever become accredited in the Northern section of our 
country, I fear the consequences. I will not say that 
Mrs. Stowe had designs on the liberty of her country 
but, in writing 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' she gave much 
comfort to England, who is thankful to her as she is 
being now royally entertained there." 

Henry Ward Beecher, Mrs. Stowe's brother, said, 
during re-construction: "The negro is superior to the 
white race. If the latter do not forget their pride of 
race and color, and amalgamate with the purer and 
richer blood of the blacks, they will die out and wither 
away in unprolific skinniness." 

Wendell Phillips said, from Henry Ward 
Beecher's church, about the Civil War, just after the 
surrender: "I know it means something like barbarian 
conquest, I will allow, but I do not believe there will 
be any peace until 347,000 men of the South are either 
hanged or exiled." Such hate as this passing over 
the North towards the South led the Ku Klux Klan 
to strengthen its numbers continually, that it would 
have an "invisible and invincible second army," should 
the United States Government attempt to fulfill the 
intentions of such men as these, and start a war of 
extermination for their benefit. 


Under the leadership of Senator Charles Sumner 
of Massachusetts, the Civil Rights Bill was passed at 
this time, which authorized the Courts to compel the 
Southern people to admit negroes to all public places, 
and that negroes should be allowed to serve on juries. 
The Ku Klux Klan prevented the operation of this 
law in the South until the Supreme Court of the 
United States decided that this Civil Rights Bill was 

Contrary to the Constitution of the United States, 
the right of habeas corpus was suspended by the Mili- 
tary Commanders, and all these unconstitutional acts 
on the part of the United States Government made 
it imperative that the Ku Klux Klan press on to their 
goal, the saving of the South. 

r/ One of the chief reasons for the rapid growth of 
the Ku Klux Klan was the feeling of distress on the 
part of the Southern people for the capture of 
President Jefferson Davis, which occurred on the 
tenth of May, 1865. V Mr. Davis was sent to Fortress 
Monroe, where he was held and charged with assassi- 
nation in connection with the killing of President 
Lincoln. Mr. Davis was indicted in the United 
States Federal Court for the District of Virginia, 
and Horace Greeley, one of the greatest abolitionists, 
was one of his bondsmen. Many dates were set by 
the United States Government for the trial of Mr. 
Davis but the trial never came, for, on the 25th of 
December, 1868, President Johnson issued his last 
amnesty proclamation and, under this, Mr. Davis was 
released from bond and his case dismissed from 



Confederate States Army, "Wizard of the Saddle," "Grand Wizard of 

the Invisible Empire" and the Ku Klux Klan. Delegate to the National 

Democratic Convention, July, 1668, at New York City. 


(0 to 


ZZZ2 I ■ 

!> £ 

to c 
•^ CO 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 125 

Court. President Johnson had been informed by the 
Ku Klux Klan that they stood ready to attempt the 
rescue of Mr. Davis, should he be arraigned for trial. 
Captain John C. Lester was sent to deliver this mes- 
sage to President Johnson from General Nathan B. 
Forrest, and he told me of this fact, and it was re- 
stated to me by Major James R. Crowe and Captain 
John B. Kennedy, all of them originators of the Ku 
Klux Klan. 

The Following Order Was the Only One 
Written by General Forrest 


Dismal Era, 4th Green Day, 
Last Hour, C.A.R.N. 

(October 20, 1869.) 


WHEREAS, The Order of the K. K. K. is in 

some localities being perverted from its original 
honorable and patriotic purposes; 

AND, WHEREAS, Such a perversion of the 
Order is in some instances defeating the very objects 
of its origin, and is becoming injurious instead of 
subservient to the public peace and public safety for 
which it was intended, and in some cases is being used 
to achieve personal benefit and private purposes, and 
to satiate private revenge by means of its masked 
features ; 


AND, WHEREAS, Public sentiment is against 
a masked organization in the country; 

AND, WHEREAS, Their masked features offer 
an opportunity to bad men outside of the Order to 
depredate and outrage the people in our name; 

AND, WHEREAS, A few disobedient and bad 
men have gotten into the Order through imprudence 
and otherwise, and whose conduct under mask is a 
disgrace to the good name and honorable reputation 
of the Order: 

It is therefore ordered and decreed, that the masks 
and costumes of this Order be entirely abolished and 
destroyed. And every Grand Cyclops shall as- 
semble the men of his Den and require them to de- 
stroy in his presence every article of his mask and 
costume and at the same time shall destroy his own. 
And every man who shall refuse to do so shall be 
deemed an enemy of this Order, and shall be treated 
accordingly. And every man who shall hereafter be 
seen in mask or costume, shall not be known or recog- 
nized as a member of this Order, but shall be deemed 
an enemy of the same, and for such offense shall suf- 
fer the extreme penalty of the law. 

This is not to be understood to dissolve tlie Order of 
the Ku Kluoo Klan, but it is hereby held more firmly 
together and more faithfully bound to each other in 
any emergency that may come. 

All demonstrations are positively prohibited until 
they are ordered by a Grand Titan or higher au- 

The disarming of negroes, except when they may 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 127 

be arming and assembling for insurrectionary pur- 
poses, is positively prohibited. 

And the whipping of negroes or white men is also 
prohibited. This will not be allowed. 

All interference in the domestic affairs of families 
is prohibited. Such is a prostitution of the Order 
from its high and public purposes. 

The use of the Order for the achievement of per- 
sonal benefit and the gratification of private revenge, 
is in all cases prohibited. This Order has nothing 
to do with the personal difficulties or private transac- 
tions of men. Such is perversion of the Order. 

The interference with any man on account of his 
political opinions is wrong and positively forbidden. 

The terrifying of men to prevent them from col- 
lecting their debts, or for any similar purpose, is pro- 
hibited under the severest penalty. This is a disgrace 
to the Order, and never was for a moment the pur- 
pose of the same — it being a public protective 
institution and nothing else. 

The breaking and invading of jails for the abduc- 
tion and execution of criminals is positively and under 
all circumstances prohibited. Any 3 one who shall 
write letters in the name of this Order to terrify men 
for the accomplishment of personal designs shall be 
severely punished. 

All demonstrations are positively prohibited until 
ordered by the authority aforesaid. The profound- 
est quiet and deepest secrecy concerning everything 
that relates to the Order, shall, at all times be main- 
tained. Any man who shall violate this Order shall 


be deemed an enemy to the Order, and shall suffer 
the extreme penalty of the law. We must protect 
our good name and honor from the disgrace that a 
few bad men may desire to bring upon us. And any 
man who shall expose this Order or any of the mem- 
bers of the same, shall suffer the extreme penalty 
of the law as heretofore prescribed. 

Every Cyclops will destroy this Order as soon as 
read to every member of their Den and Staff. 

By command of 


First Genii, 

Acting Grand Scribe, 

This order as above given was presented to me by 
Major Robert Donnell, who was Grand Scribe of 
the "Invisible Empire" in 1869, for this history, and 
he stated that the Ku Klux Klan was not disbanded 
until 1877, but this order was General Forrest's 
method of misleading those who were attempting to 
dissolve it after the Anti-Ku Klux Act was passed. 


Following Lincoln's death in 1865, President 
Johnson was confronted with the restoration of the 
Southern States to the Union and with the problems 
of reconstruction. 

His policy was "that the seceding States not hav- 
ing succeeded in their separation from the Union, 
had lost their Constitutional rights only while en- 
gaged in war," and that the surrender of General 
Robert E. Lee gave them their anti-bellum status; 
and that they should at once become a part of the 
Union, but he was bitter against the leading Confed- 
erates, and had Jefferson Davis and other South- 
erners arrested. 

President Johnson, however, was a Democrat, and 
above all, he believed in the United States Constitu- 
tion and did his best with the situation which con- 
fronted him, to uphold it. 

His policy aroused very bitter opposition through- 
out the North and caused denunciation in the Halls 
of Congress, and brought about the controversy be- 
tween the President and Congress. Congress vented 
its fury against this just policy by enactment of 
articles of impeachment against President Johnson. 



Congress asserted that by the act of secession the 
States recently engaged in war had forfeited all their 
rights under the Constitution ; — not having acknowl- 
edged their rebellion until forced to do so at the point 
of a bayonet, and that they should be made territorial 
possessions governed by Congress until the Southern 
people should regard themselves as sufficiently 

Congress passed the "Civil Rights" Bill and the 
"Freedman's Bureau" Bill, and President Johnson 
sent a message to Congress in which he said that 
they embodied unconstitutional intrusion of the Fed- 
eral government into the affairs of the States, and 
were a great trend towards centralization of 

The discontent over the President's liberal recon- 
struction policy needed only a breath to bring about 
the effort of his enemies to impeach him. On Feb. 18, 
1868, President Johnson sent Edwin M. Stanton an 
order removing him from office, and naming Lorenzo 
Thomas, Secretary of War. Stanton was appointed 
by President Lincoln in 1862, and it was doubtful 
whether he could claim protection of the act against 
summary ejection by the President. The house 
voted on Feb. 24th and adopted a resolution that the 
President be impeached of "high crimes and misde- 
meanors in office." 

The effort to impeach Johnson was emphasized by 
the choice of the extremest Radicals in Congress 
selected to prosecute his impeachment — Stevens, 
Butler, Boutwell, Williams and Logan; the other 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 131 

two members were conservative, Bingham and 

The Radicals employed every means to impeach 
President Johnson, and any man in Congress who 
did not declare himself in favor of impeachment was 
spied upon and denounced in the newspapers, and in 
the General Conference of the Methodist-Episcopal 
Church North. 

This interference on the part of the Church was 
the first cause of arousing the right thinking people 
of the North to the dangerous situation in the govern- 
ment at Washington, and was one of the contributing 
causes of the failure of impeachment. 

The vote on the impeachment of President John- 
son was May 16, 1868 and resulted in "Not guilty." 
Two-thirds majority being necessary for conviction 
he was acquitted by one vote. 

The failure of Congress to impeach President 
Johnson was due to the votes of seven Senators: 
Fessenden, Fowler, Grimes, Ross, Henderson, 
Trumbull, and Van Winkle. 

The people of the North who had been engaged in 
their commercial affairs seemed to have been asleep 
during these years when the government at Washing- 
ton was drifting on the rocks, and by these impeach- 
ment proceedings they were suddenly awakened to 
the dangers at hand. 

At this time there existed a branch of the Union 
League at Washington, called the "Loyal League," 
composed of Radical politicians who were sending 
bands of men throughout the South who were imita- 


ting the Ku Klux Klan and were instructed to com- 
mit crimes and to foment all kinds of disorder and 
confusion to make it impossible for President John- 
son to fulfill his office successfully. 

"Cupid" recognizes no battle-lines, and many of 
the Federal officers and soldiers had won the hearts 
and hands of Southern girls during their occupation 
of the South. 

One instance which bears directly on the Ku Klux 
Klan was the marriage of a Federal General, Jesse 
J. Phillips, to one of the most brilliant young women, 
of the South, a widow, Mrs. Virginia Davis Harris, 
of Athens, Ala., after the close of the war. The 
General's business frequently took him to Washing- 
ton where his splendid war record gave him great 

On one occasion they were invited to a meeting of 
the "Loyal League," which was meeting in the home 
of one of the members of Congress. 

During this meeting it was decided that the 
"Loyal League" name would be changed to the Ku 
Klux Klan, and a hideous regalia be adopted, and 
that they would send bands of men to imitate the 
real Ku Klux Klan, and spread terror and destruc- 
tion to life and property throughout the South and 
bring back reports to Washington that the genuine 
Ku Klux Klan was responsible for it all. 

This decision so horrified the General and his 
Southern wife, that they soon retired from the meet- 
ing and he declined to join the "Loyal League." 
He realized that something must be done to save the 

■flft . 


One of the founders of the Athens, Alabama Ku Klux Klan 
and a Grand Cyclops. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 133 

entire country from the treasonable schemes of these 
Radical politicians who were planning to undermine 
the government. His Southern wife appealed to him 
to help her save her loved ones of the Southland from 
such diabolism. 

She told her husband that she knew President 
Johnson personally as he had once lived in Athens, 
Alabama, and she suggested that she call on him and 
report this scheme to him. He agreed with her that 
it might be a good idea and might give the President 
a deeper insight into the dangers already besetting 
his administration. 

Mrs. Philips was received graciously by President 
Johnson, when the usher made it known to him that 
she was from Athens, Alabama, where he had lived 
when a young man. 

President Johnson was appalled at the informa- 
tion she gave him and assured her that as far as 
possible he would not consent to the illegal measures 
then being enacted against the South which were 
delaying the restoring of the Union. 

Previous to this, President Johnson had been mak- 
ing speeches which pleased the Radicals because he 
would abuse the South and would lose his temper and 
cause him to be ridiculed ; suddenly, he quit all abuse 
of the Southern aristocrat, began to realize his great 
responsibility, and disappointed the Radicals by tak- 
ing a firmer stand in his determination to readmit the 
States to the Union. 

He said to General John A. Logan that the report 
brought him by General and Mrs. Philips of the 


treason plotted against the Southern people by the 
"Loyal League" had shown him the situation in a 
new light. While he sent agents to investigate, 
General Grant being one of them, he attached very 
little importance to the truth of them, as Grant's 
report was so meagre it was almost worthless. 

After Mrs. Philips had seen the President, she 
left without delay for her former home in the South 
to inform the members of the Ku Klux Klan of this 
reign of terror planned by the bogus Ku Klux Klan 
in Washington, and of President Johnson's astonish- 
ment that members of his Cabinet and of Congress, 
should be the instigators of it. 

The Ku Klux Klan already knew that there were 
impostors trying to imitate them. But soon after 
this became known to them, they called in consulta- 
tion General Forrest and he met them at the Athens 
headquarters. A vigilance committee was appointed 
to parole every road and be prepared to arrest men 
in disguise who could not give the Ku Klux Klan 
pass-words and grip. The advent of this bogus Ku 
Klux Klan emphasized the fact that no one but the 
Ku Klux themselves were in possession of the grip 
and pass-word, so the bogus klans could be easily 

President Johnson could not hold his stand against 
the Radical Congress, and soon after this Congress 
assumed the reconstruction of the Southern States 
and destroyed the State governments already operat- 
ing and the people of the South were yet to go 
through the most diabolical era, and drink deep of 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 135 

the cup of sorrow before her Senators and Repre- 
sentatives were allowed to take their seats in the 
Congress of the United States, and the States re- 
stored to their proper place in the Union. 

President Johnson wished to be guided by the 
supposed policies of President Lincoln and although 
he failed, many of Lincoln's own party thought he 
could not have done any better with such a Radical 
Congress to deal with. 

The South was divided into military districts and 
the work of both Lincoln and Johnson regarding the 
restoring of the South to the Union was suddenly 
undone by Congress which is directly responsible for 
the Union being dissolved for many years, and but 
for the Ku Klux Klan, that state of affairs might be 
in existence today. 

The Radical party wished to keep the South in 
subjection to strengthen their party by enfranchising 
the negroes and disfranchising the white men. So 
they suddenly discharged all men who held the civil 
offices in the South and put "carpet-baggers" in their 
places and this condition continued for several years. 

One instance of a legally elected Southerner being 
summarily ousted occurred in the fall of 1868, in 
Limestone County, Ala., when Captain John B. 
McClellan, a Confederate soldier who had lost his 
right arm during the Civil War, was displaced by 
Silas Thurlow, a carpet-bagger, as Probate Judge of 
the county. 

The records of the court will show that at the close 
of business on Sept. 29, 1868, Judge McClellan's 


signature was attached to legal papers, and next 
morning Silas Thurlow arrived in Athens and at the 
point of the bayonet in the hands of Federal soldiers, 
began signing all legal documents. 

Judge McClellan was a Ku Klux and the treat- 
ment accorded him greatly incensed the Klan. In 
November following this there was a large parade of 
the Ku Klux Klan in Huntsville, Ala., and Silas 
Thurlow was killed on the streets. 

Eye-witnesses testified at the Ku Klux hearings 
of the Committee of Congress afterwards held at 
Huntsville, that he was shot by the negro soldiers 
who were stationed in the Court House. A Federal 
general, who was in the hotel across the street and 
could see the shooting from his window, testified that 
the Ku Klux Klan was not at that time on that part 
of the public square. 

Judge William Richardson testified at the hearing 
that the shot which killed Thurlow came from the 
Court House, and not from the direction of the Ku 
Klux Klan members to whom he was talking. 

This occurred after midnight and when Thurlow 
was told that he was dying he said he wanted some- 
one to pray for him, but knew there wasn't a Rebel 
preacher in that town who would do it, and a gentle- 
man went to the home of Mr. Ross, a minister of the 
gospel, who came immediately, and prayed for him. 

This Huntsville riot, and those occurring in New 
Orleans, Memphis, and smaller towns, furnished the 
Radicals at Washington with new material against 
the South, and the Northern papers published ac- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 137 

counts under glaring headlines: "Southern Out- 

The "Eutaw, Alabama, Riot" in 1870, in which the 
Ku Klux Klan took a part, and a band of them from 
Mississippi killed Alexander Boyd, who was County- 
Solicitor, was the cause of great excitement through- 
out the country. Mr. Boyd had released from jail 
three negroes who had killed a very popular man, Dr. 
Samuel Snoddy. 

The Ku Klux Klan warned Boyd to leave town, 
and when he refused to do so they went to the hotel 
where he was living. A fight ensued in which he was 
killed. Mr. Boyd's tombstone in the Mesopotamia 
Cemetery, Eutaw, Alabama, erected by his uncle, 
Judge William Miller, is inscribed "Murdered by 
Ku Klux." 

In Hale County, Alabama, Jan. 19, 1871, in the 
middle of the night a negro aroused the town with the 
cry of "Ku Klux!" and he hastened to the room of 
Dr. Blackford who was the carpet-bag Probate 
Judge and warned him of their approach. Blackford 
escaped into the cemetery where he remained for sev- 
eral days. 

At this time General Forrest was at Greensboro, 
Alabama, building the Selma and Memphis Railroad. 
He decided that he would lend the much-frightened 
man his protection, so he conferred with Blackford 
and made arrangements to purchase property he 
owned on condition that he resign the office and leave 
for parts unknown. 

(Governor R. B. Lindsay appointed as Black- 


ford's successor James M. Hobson, father of Captain 
Richmond Hobson.) After this great kindness on 
the part of the Grand Wizard of the Invisible Em- 
pire, Dr. Blackford went to Washington and re- 
ported many falsehoods to officials there, charging 
the Ku Klux with outrages. 

President Lincoln had to contend with Radicals 
all during the war, and Johnson fell heir to this 
condition. He did not cause it. The opinion of 
President Lincoln that Congress had no right to 
dictate on reconstruction was criticized by the 

The Radical propaganda to exclude the white men 
from representation at Washington and to form a 
black man's party in the South to strengthen the 
Republican party, caused Horace Greeley to say in 
the New York Tribune: 

"If they carry out their plans to form a black man's 
party in the South, they will strike Republicanism 
a blow far heavier than Democrats can deal." 

The Ku Klux Klan reports sent to Washington 
classified all violence in the South, under four heads : 
killings, shootings, outrages and whippings; and 
every case of crime committed from 1865 to 1871 was 
listed in these reports as Ku Klux outrages. 

According to these reports it would appear that 
all who met violent death were Radicals or negroes, 
and the wretched conditions that prevailed seemed 
more than human endurance could be called on to 
bear, and for several years the people had been hop- 
ing and praying that the government at Washington, 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 139 

or that some power on earth would come to their 

The Ku Klux Klan, seeing no relief in sight, re- 
newed their determination to save the South or die 
in the attempt. (The fulfillment of this determina- 
tion for "white supremacy" came between the years 
1890 to 1902 when new election laws and new State 
constitutions excluded the negro from the polls and 
a white man's government was a reality, and the 
Ku Klux Klan had solidified the South politically for 
all time to come.) 

Negro suffrage while it lasted had to be upheld by 
military rule and at last the Ku Klux Klan, caused 
both to fail. The success of the Ku Klux Klan was 
accomplished in the face of the Ku Klux Act, 1871, 
which gave President Grant despotic military power, 
and authorized him to declare a state of war if he 
deemed it necessary. He used this power in 1871,, 
and declared martial law in South Carolina. 

The Ku Klux Klan was not organized for political 
purposes as some unfair Northern writers contend to 
this day, but it was driven into this role by the perse- 
cution of the Southern people by the Republican 
party in power, which misrepresented conditions in 
the South. 

When Governor Andrew Johnson made his second 
race for governor of Tennessee he was opposed by 
Merideth P. Gentry who was the candidate of the 
"Knownothing" or American party whose slogan was 
"America for Americans." In 1855 this movement 


"Knownothingism" spread very rapidly over the 
country, and a presidential ticket was nominated. 

This party was founded on the position taken by 
many men that the Roman Catholic church through 
their priests were interfering with the appointments 
of men to office, their efforts being to have Catholics 
given the preference and this situation led to the or- 
ganizing of the "Knownothings," the name originated 
by its members being asked about its activities reply- 
ing, "I don't know." 

Andrew Johnson spoke four hours against this 
movement in his race for governor and said "this 
party would shut out Methodists and Presbyterians 
from holding office," and the party never revived 
again in Tennessee, and failed in electing the presi- 
dential ticket and soon went out of existence. 

President Andrew Johnson's term was ended when 
U. S. Grant was elected, and he returned to his home 
in Tennessee, greatly disappointed that all the States 
were not in the Union. He was a Union man, and 
did go against his State when secession came, and 
was the military governor of Tennessee during the 
Civil War, but his effort to help the Southern people 
in being restored to the Union called for their ex- 
pressions of gratitude. 

Mr. Johnson was governor of Tennessee for two 
terms previous to the Civil War and was considered 
an honest man in his convictions, and he believed in 
the Constitution of the United States with all his soul. 

When Mr, Johnson was inaugurated governor of 
Tennessee in 1853 he said in his address: "Democracy 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 141 

and religion are hand-maidens to each other. They 
are two converging lines extending from earth to 
heaven, where they unite in theocracy." 

Ex-President Andrew Johnson was elected to the 
United States Senate in 1875. On March 22, 1875 
his opportunity came to make his stand on the Con- 
stitution in the Louisiana case. The Congressional 
Committee read the report : 

1. Resolved that there is no state government at 
present existing in the state of Louisiana. The com- 
mittee report that it is the duty of Congress to act 
in the premises. 

Mr. Johnson replied to this report in a speech in 
which he said "Is this not monstrous in a free gov- 
ernment? Is the president the United States?" 

The Constitution says, "The United States shall 
guarantee to every state in the union, a republican 
form of government," and the interference with the 
State of Louisiana today by President Grant is 
palpable violation of the Constitution of the United 

When we go into our theory of government, we 
find that all the powers are derived from the people. 

The people wear the crown. 

Then as patriots, as men who love their country, 
who love a government of law, let us unite as a band 
of brothers to make one more effort in this period to 
restore the Constitution of the United States. 

Andrew Johnson died on July 31, 1875 and the 
Union was still dissolved and the Ku Klux Klan 
heard the echo of this speech and fulfilled his wish 


and finished his avowed task of restoring the Union. 

Andrew Johnson was a Mason. 

It is said President Johnson never made a speech 
without speaking of the United States flag and the 
Constitution and had expressed a wish that a flag 
be his winding-sheet, and his head-rest the Constitu- 
tion. These wishes were carried out. A handsome 
flag was wrapped around his body and an old worn 
copy of the Constitution he had read placed under 
his head, where he rests at Greenville, Tennessee. 

In the Opinion given by Senator John B. Hen- 
derson during the trial for impeachment of President 
Andrew Johnson he said: "If an act to be impeach- 
able must be indictable, then it must be urged that 
every act which is indictable must be impeachable, 
but this has never been pretended. " 

Senator Henderson said in regard to the order 
issued by President Johnson removing from office 
Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: "The Consti- 
tution is silent as to the power of removing officers. 
It will be observed that ample provision is made for 
filling offices, but no expressed provision is made for 
vacating them." 

All the authorities have agreed that the power of 
removing all appointed officers except Judges of the 
Supreme Court who have held by fixed tenure was 
vested in the President and could not be withdrawn 
by law. It was also a fact that an officer could only 
hold for and during the term of the President by 
whom he may have been appointed. 

"Senator Henderson said in this Opinion "The 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 143 

question is simply one of guilt under the charges as 
presented by the House and I cannot in justice to 
the laws of the land, in justice to the country or to 
my own sense of right render any other response to 
the several articles of impeachment than a verdict 
'Not guilty.' " 

Senator Henderson in this immortal opinion helped 
to save to our country republican form of government 
as given to us by the Constitution of the United 
States and by his masterly leadership on this trying 
occasion succeeded in convincing a sufficient number 
of senators to prevent the impeachment of President 
Andrew Johnson by one vote, and thereby saving the 
executive branch of our government. 


When General U. S. Grant became President of 
the United States in 1869, and in a speech said: 
"Let us have peace," the people of the South were 
hopeful that they would be freed from carpet-bag 
and negro rule ; but they were doomed to disappoint- 
ment. For in 1870 President Grant approved the 
first of the Federal Ku Klux Acts, and the second, 
in 1871. 

In part the Act read as follows: 

"If two or more persons shall band or conspire 
together, or go in disguise upon the public highway, 
or upon the premises of another, with intent to violate 
any provision of this Act, or injure, oppress, threaten 
or intimidate any citizen with the intention to prevent 
or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right 
or privilege, granted or secured to him by the Consti- 
tution of the United States, or because of his having 
exercised the same; such persons shall be guilty of 
a felony." 

The Act of 1871 provides that: "If two or more 
persons within any State or territory of the United 
States shall conspire together, or go in disguise upon 
the public highway or upon the premises for the pur- 
pose either directly or indirectly, of depriving such 


KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 145 

persons of the equal protection of the Laws, each and 
every person so offending shall be deemed guilty of 
a high crime. 

"When such a conspiracy is proven to exist, and 
when it further appears that the accused was a mem- 
ber of it, the Law holds him responsible for whatever 
is done by his co-conspirators in furtherance of the 
objects of the corrupt combination, though he him- 
self did not advise the particular act or participate 
in it, and, although he was completely ignorant of the 
intention to commit it, and of the fact of its com- 

Growing out of these Acts were the famous hear- 
ings held by a sub-committee of Congress in Alabama 
and South Carolina, Mississippi and other States, 
and at Washington, D. C. 

The trials in Alabama were held in the United 
States District Court, Northern District, sitting at 
Huntsville, beginning in May, 1872. Many persons 
were indicted for violation of the Enforcement Acts 
of Congress known as the "Ku Klux Laws" and a 
great many of the most distinguished men of the 
South were prosecuted by "carpet-bag" District 
Attorneys of the United States. 

The reports of these trials were sent to the gov- 
ernment at Washington, and led to the appointment 
by Congress of a committee to investigate con- 
ditions in the South, and the sub-committee proceeded 
to Huntsville, Alabama. 

Among the men who were arrested and tried were 
members of the spurious Ku Klux Klan which had 


been formed by the "Loyal League" at Washington 
to foment trouble in the South. When these counter- 
feit Ku Klux were tried, as in the case of those prose- 
cuted by Captain William Richardson at Huntsville, 
Ala., when he was employed by the real Ku Klux 
Klan, and obtained convictions of these men, the Fed- 
eral authorities immediately freed them. 

Many other citizens who were not members of 
the Ku Klux Klan were arrested, convicted and sent 
to the Federal prison. 

Thirteen individuals of these spurious Ku Klux 
Klaus were convicted in Alabama, and one pleaded 

The trials and the carpet-baggers in charge of them 
were bitterly assailed in the Northern papers at that 
time, for the Northern public began to realize the 
injustice of the Ku Klux Laws and of the govern- 
ment at Washington, and to see the failure of the 
Law in reaching the real Ku Klux Klan, and that it 
was reacting against their own agents and causing 
them to be convicted and sent to the Federal prisons. 

These investigations of the sub-committee and 
trials of the Ku Klux Klan awakened the whole coun- 
try and the thinking men of the North realized the 
serious situation in the South and they were very 
impatient with the government at Washington. 

The Ku Klux Klan were being forced by these cir- 
cumstances to add to their numbers and become more 
closely affiliated for the common good. 

On June 27, 1872, the Mail and Advertiser, 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 147 

(Montgomery, Ala.,) summed up the situation under 
the caption, "The Grant Platform." 

"The National Statutes enforced are odious, to 
break the spirit of our people and make them slaves 
to Federal power; that peaceable citizens are 
snatched away from their business and homes and 
taken to other States in violation of private right and 
the Constitution of the land; and that the spy, the 
bayonet, the suborned witness, bribed jury, and par- 
tisan judge have full sway over the lives and rights 
of millions of people; that the whole legislation in 
Congress in regard to the South has been one grand 
and infamous purpose to subordinate the white man 
to the negro; the Reconstruction Acts, the Four- 
teenth Amendment, the Ku Klux Acts, all discrim- 
inated by reason of race and political creed — that the 
Ku Klux 'pretended evils' are Ku Klux goblins, to 
correct which the government resorted to unconsti- 
tutional laws and interfered with rights not surren- 
dered by the people to either State or National 

The investigations of the sub-committee cost the 
United States government many millions of dollars 
and comprise many volumes of testimony, and not 
one of the real Ku Klux Klan was ever convicted. 
They tried to convict them by every ruse, by false 
witnesses, and by having men appear against them 
who held a grudge because they had been refused ad- 
mittance to the Ku Klux Klan, and also many igno- 
rant negroes were paid to give accounts of beatings 
and whippings which had never occurred. 


One instance was of a negro woman who lived on 
the plantation of Major John B. Floyd of Limestone 
County, Alabama, who told that the Ku Klux Klan 
had beaten her baby and herself; and when the real 
Ku Klux Klan went to investigate, they found the 
baby alive and well, under the cabin floor and brought 
it to Huntsville to prove the falsehood. This circum- 
stance caused many of the Federal investigators to 
change their minds regarding the Ku Klux Klan, and 
led them to giving truthful testimony at Washington. 

No matter how much this sub-committee discov- 
ered concerning the alleged unlawful Ku Klux Klan, 
the witnesses, General James H. Clanton among the 
number, who was Grand Dragon of the Realm of 
Alabama, were ready with facts concerning the acts 
of the spurious Ku Klux Klan and other carpet-bag- 
gers to show cause why the real Ku Klux Klan was 
needed unless conditions improved. 

The Joint Select Committee to enquire into the 
Conditions of Affairs in the late Insurrectionary 
States, was unable to discover any written order, pre- 
script, oath or data which had ever been used by the 
real Ku Klux Klan, for the reason that it was against 
their policy to print anything; all orders being deliv- 
ered orally, except General Order No. 1, of Den 
No. 1, and General Order No. 1, "Invisible Empire. ,, 

All the committees of Congress, all the Federal 
attorneys appointed to investigate the Ku Klux Klan, 
all the bogus Ku Klux Klans combined, failed utterly 
to find any documentary evidence against the origi- 

Stone Marker at Athens, Alabama, erected by the Alabama Division, 
United Daughters of the Confederacy. 

(Contributed for this History 
by Miss Mary Mason) 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 149 

nal Ku Klux Klan; and that which was produced 
was not genuine. 

General Nathan B. Forrest, when being examined 
by this Congressional Committee, proved himself a 
match for the men who conducted the hearings in 
Washington, and not one word from General For- 
rest revealed the secrets, the passwords or the grips 
of the Ku Klux Klari, for by his masterly strategy 
in foiling these shafts of questioning so that none of 
the secrets of the real Ku Klux Klan were learned, 
he added laurels to the fame he had attained in the 
Civil War for his elusive tactics which caused Gen- 
eral W. T. Sherman to offer fifty thousand dollars 
reward and a Major-Generalship to any Federal 
soldier who would kill or capture him, and it goes 
without saying that no one received this reward. 
This untrained genius of war has been compared to 
Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar and Napoleon, and as 
the leader of the Ku Klux Klan his name stands for 
the justification of the men and women of the "In- 
visible Empire." 

General Frank P. Blair and Mr. Beck of New 
York of the sub-committee of Congress, sitting at 
Huntsville, Ala., had summoned before it men of 
the highest character — men whose social and politi- 
cal standing was unquestioned at the time, and who 
in later years filled the highest and most responsible 
positions in the government of our country. 

Many of the Federal officers who were called upon 
to testify before this sub-committee testified in favor 
of the real Ku Klux Klan and sustained the Demo- 


crats. Among these was Captain Lionel W. Day of 
the United States Army who was clerk of the United 
States District Court for Northern Alabama at that 

When the biographies of the Ku Klux Klansmen 
are read, you will understand why the crimes attrib- 
uted to them could not be laid at their door, and at 
the same time, all blame must not be charged to the 
representatives of the spurious Ku Klux Klans, or 
to the negroes for the crimes committed, for, among 
the stirring events of the reconstruction period in 
Alabama, none were more dreadful than the raids, 
thefts and murders by bands of Tories. 

The account of these home-bred brands of evil men 
would never have been told only when law and order 
had no restraining influence upon many men and an 
outraged public sentiment had no power, and the au- 
thorities at Washington who were supposed to keep 
order in the Southern States, were even helpless 
against these bi-products of the Civil War who kept 
the people in terror, by treason against their own 
homes and people. 

The people of the South were beset by these bands 
of marauders within their own borders, by deserters 
from the Confederate Army, by men who had to be 
drafted into the Confederate Army, by men taking 
advantage of the Ku Klux Klan disguise, by the Fed- 
eral authorities' inability to cope with the situation, 
and by the actual attitude of the government at 
Washington who were plotting and scheming to keep 
the South in a state of war for at least thirty years. 

KIT KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 151 

With these conditions, is it any wonder that the Ku 
Klux Klan continued and grew in strength? 

The Ku Klux Klan, during the early 70's, directed 
their efforts to assisting the Federal troops and au- 
thorities in bringing to justice such of these men as 
they could, regardless of their affiliations. 

The most notable of the bands who terrorized Lau- 
derdale and other counties of Alabama, was led by 
Tom Clark, who was a distinctive product of a war- 
time outlaw. He had lived on the plantation of Gov- 
ernor Hugh McVay before the war. He was quiet 
and industrious, but when war came he would not 
enlist and was conscripted, and made a member of 
Company F, Fourth Alabama Cavalry. 

He deserted and became a member of the Sixth 
Tennessee, a Federal Regiment, which was com- 
manded by Capt. Elias Thrasher, a home-made 
Yankee. Many of his men were lawless. Clark de- 
serted this Tennessee regiment, taking with him 
many of these criminals and formed a band of Tories 
and began his reign of terror in North Alabama, hav- 
ing them commit rapine, murder and robberies, and 
escaped punishment for years. 

The Ku Klux Klan captured two of Clark's band 
and took them before the Federal authorities under 
the command of Captain DeFord at Florence, Ala- 
bama, who gave them a military trial and had them 

This is but one of the many instances where the 
Ku Klux Klan made every effort to assist the Fed- 


eral government in meting out justice, yet despite all 
their efforts no relief came from Washington. 

Peaceable law-abiding negroes were often attacked 
by these bands of Tories and carpet-baggers, and the 
Ku Klux Klan went to their aid each time, taking 
with them the faithful negroes to aid them in the 
cause of justice, as Judge H. C. Jones did on one 
occasion, when with two pistols, and the assistance 
of his former slave, Emery Jones, he went to the 
rescue of a negro family named Poole, near Florence, 
Alabama, who had been cruelly attacked by Tom 
Clark's band. 

These crimes were all charged in the North to the 
Ku Klux Klan, when there was positive proof that 
none of the band were Ku Klux, as shown by the 
court-martial and execution of Clark's men. 

In 1872, Tom Clark was captured and taken to 
Florence, Alabama, for trial. Coincident with his 
arrest there was a series of robberies beginning at 
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to Athens, Alabama, and 
culminating at Florence, where these robbers were 
captured and put in jail with Tom Clark. Public 
sentiment soon determined to mete out justice to 
these criminals without delay. 

The horrible deeds of Tom Clark were still fresh 
in the minds of the people and they decided to hang 
him with the other robbers, who proved to be escaped 
criminals from Indiana. 

These crimes were heralded through the Northern 
press as having been committed by the Ku Klux 
Klan. Was it any wonder that the men of the South, 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 153 

composing the real Ku Klux Klan, were losing all 
patience with this misrepresentation? 

A committee of the Ku Klux Klan went to Wash- 
ington and explained fully to President Grant the 
existing conditions in the South, but he turned a deaf 
ear to all their appeals. 

The Anti-Ku Klux Acts were said to be for the en- 
forcement of the 14th and 15th Amendments, but 
they were really aimed at the Ku Klux Klan, the 
excuse being that the Ku Klux Klan would keep the 
negroes from voting. The effect of these enforce- 
ment Acts was to take over to the central govern- 
ment all the powers of the State governments relative 
to suffrage and elections. 

The Ku Klux Klan tried in every possible way to 
impress the President and Congress that their activi- 
ties would cease when relief should come to the South, 
but instead the above committee was appointed at 
Washington, and General Grant approved the Ku 
Klux Acts. 

When the sub-committee of Congress was investi- 
gating the Ku Klux Klan, Senator Pratt said to 
Colonel Nicholas Davis, of Huntsville, Alabama, "I 
wish to read to you the preamble of the law approved 
Dec. 26, 1868, by the Alabama Hadical Legislature, 
entitled 'An Act for the Suppression of Secret Or- 
ganizations of men disguising themselves for the pur- 
pose of committing crimes and outrages.' I wish to 
read you the preamble of that law and ask you 
whether the state of things contained in it was true 
at the time this law was passed." 


The law was read to Mr. Davis and his answer was, 
"I will tell you one thing. I never paid much atten- 
tion to any law enacted by any such authority as that 

Mr. Pratt said: "I am not asking you for your 
opinion of the law, but simply of the truth or untruth 
of the recitals of the Ku Klux Klan in that preamble." 

Mr. Davis replied: "I believe that there was in 
1868 a Ku Klux Klan in the State of Alabama and 
in Madison County, but I prefer that my testimony 
be restricted to things I know. I believe that now 
it is more unsafe for a man to be a Ku Klux Klans- 
man here than it would be in New York. I believe it 
would be much safer for a man to put on a dis- 
guise in the city of New York where you live, Sena- 
tor Pratt." 

Mr. Pratt said: "You have told us that several 
times, and I do not ask to have it repeated oftener. 
But I want to ask you whether you saw published 
in the papers sometime in 1869 what purported to be 
an order emanating from the Cyclops of that organi- 
zation disbanding it." 

Mr. Davis: "I did not." 

Mr. Pratt: "Did you ever hear of such an order?" 

Mr. Davis: "I did not." 

Mr. Pratt: "Were you a constant reader of the 

Mr. Davis: "I can say that I am, but I never saw 
such an order." 

Mr. Pratt: "And you have never heard of such an 

KU KLUX KLAINT, 1865-1877 155 

Mr. Davis: "No, sir, not until you mentioned it 

Mr. Pratt: "Did you hear of such an order in 

Mr. Davis: "I never heard of it until you men- 
tioned it." 

Question : "Has there been any such thing as a Ku 
Klux Klan in this county in the last two years?" 

Answer: "There have been men who imitated the 
Ku Klux Klan." 

Question: "For what purpose?" 

Answer: "To rob and thieve — without any politics 
in it — rob and thieve." 

Question: "Was the Union League a political or- 

Answer: "Yes, and they forbade me to speak here 
on this street. I am opposed to the organization of 
the Republican Party in Alabama." 

Another prominent Limestone County, Alabama, 
man who was summoned by the minority on this sub- 
committee was Captain Daniel Coleman who was at 
that time solicitor of Limestone County. When asked 
by the chairman of this committee to state the con- 
dition in his county, he asked that the following ac- 
count of a mass meeting held in Athens be inserted in 
the record, to show that the people were anxious for 
the restoration of order. 

From the Athens (Alabama) Post: 

"At a large and earnest meeting of the citizens of 
Limestone County, Ala., held in the Court House 
in the town of Athens on the 25th of Sept., 1871, in 


pursuance to a call heretofore made, to protest 
against the outrages that have been committed and 
the lawlessness and crime which exist the following 
proceedings were held, to wit: 

"On motion of Colonel T. J. McClellan, Major 
J. N. Malone, was elected chairman, and after a few 
able remarks, stating the object of the meeting and 
condemning lawlessness and crime, took the chair. 
On motion of Captain Daniel Coleman, Charles M. 
Hayes was appointed Secretary. 

"On motion of Colonel L. R. Davis, the following 
preamble and resolutions were introduced, and after 
strong and eloquent speeches for their adoption were 
made by Luke Pryor, J. W. Carter, James E. Nunn, 
Captain Daniel Coleman, Judge William H. Walker, 
and Colonel T. J. McClellan were adopted by a 
strong hearty vote that carried conviction that the 
meeting was in earnest. 

"WHEREAS: Crime and ruthless violation of 
law have increased to such an alarming extent in the 
county; therefore we, the people of Limestone 
County, have met together in solemn convention, to 
devise ways and means for the suppression of law- 
lessness and crime, to express our indignation of the 
recent outrages in the county, and to unite our effort 
for the maintenance of the supremacy of the law; 

"RESOLVED: First, that we are in favor of 
'Law and Order'; and we pledge ourselves that we 
will obey and encourage obedience to all laws, state 
and national, to which we as citizens may be subject. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 157 

"Second: That great credit is due and we hereby 
give our thanks, to the officers of the law and to the 
people assisting them as 'posses' for the recent ener- 
getic arresting and attempting to arrest the violators 
of the law ; and we promise to sustain them in all their 
efforts in the future to have the law enforced. 

"Third: That we cordially endorse and approve the 
action of the commissioners' court in employing addi- 
tional counsel to assist the County Solicitor, Captain 
Daniel Coleman, and we give them carte blanche to 
do the same in the future whenever their judgment 
may so dictate. 

"Fourth : That we approve the recent action of the 
county solicitor (Daniel Coleman) and we stand by 
him, and uphold him in the discharge of his duties. 

"Fifth: That we are in dead earnest and that we 
mean what we say, when we declare that we intend 
by every means known to the law, 'let it fall on whom 
it may' to put down the lawlessness that now curses 
and blights the county. 

"Sixth: That to this end we will form in our respec- 
tive beats, committees in law and order — a sort of 
special police — whose duty it shall be to ferret out 
and bring to punishment under the law all violators 
of the law. 

"Seventh: That we authorize and empower the 
commissioners' court to use any means necessary to 
put down the crime of the county and to that end to 
make such appropriations as are essential to that 
purpose. And it is the sense of the meeting that the 
solicitor in view of the fact that he gets scarcely any- 


thing, should be allowed compensation as the court 
shall determine is proper. 

"On motion of Captain Coleman, the Secretary was 
directed to request the Limestone News, and the 
Athens Post to publish the proceedings after which 
the meeting adjourned 'sine die.' 

"J. N. Malone, Pres. 
"Chas. M. Hayes, Sec'y." 

Captain Coleman emphasized in his testimony that 
spurious Ku Klux Klans and other agents were dis- 
turbing the peace in his county. He said that none of 
the violations of law in his county were committed by 
the real Ku Klux Klan. He stated that a Mr. Weir 
said he had been mistreated by men in disguise, but 
that it grew out of a personal difficulty he had had 
with a Mr. Blair. 

The Chairman said to Captain Coleman: "Have 
you any reason to doubt Mr. Weir's statement that 
he was mistreated?" 

Answer: "He wrote the newspapers up North that 
he had been killed, but I saw him after that. He 
came to Limestone County to live after the War." 

Question: "For what was Birdsong murdered?" 

Answer: "He wasn't murdered. He killed a man 
named McKee and fled. He and McKee had planned 
to steal horses and mules at a certain place. The next 
day the body of McKee was found, and in his saddle- 
bags he had a disguise." 

Question: "Did the disguise differ from the old- 
fashioned Ku Klux disguise?" 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 159 

Answer: "I did not see this disguise; only heard it 
described. They certainly differed from the only Ku 
Klux I ever saw. Their disguises were entirely 

Question: "When was that, Captain Coleman?" 

Answer: "Let me see; the War closed in 1865. I 
think it was in the fall of 1866." 

Question: "You may state the circumstances." 

Answer: "Well, sir, it was at a picnic — what was 
called a moonlight picnic, in a beech-grove near 

Question: "In Tennessee?" 

Answer : "Yes, sir, there was a dance. There was a 
large circle of fine people gathered together, when 
these persons in mysterious garb came out of the 
woods and came upon the ground and danced to the 
music and would talk to those who would talk with 
them, disguising their voices. It seemed to be a thing 
of amusement. I never heard anything in connection 
with it as a political organization." 

Question: "Not at that time?" 

Answer: "At that time, no, sir." 

By Mr. Buckley, of the Committee: "What was 
their disguise?" 

Answer: "Well, sir, they had very tall hats, that 
seemed to be made of some stiff material, I could not 
tell what it was, but it was covered with spangles, 
with stars, and it was rather a pretty and showy cos- 
tume. Their covering seemed to be a kind of talma 
or cloak thrown over their bodies, and then a tunic 
running down to their feet nearly." 


Question: "Was that the first time you ever heard 

Answer: "Probably I had heard of the Ku Klux 
Klan a little before that, but that was the first time I 
ever saw them." 

Question: "How long subsequently did that organi- 
zation exist and operate in full vigor?" 

Answer: "Subsequently, I do not know. The next 
time I saw them was in 1867." 

Question: "Where was it you saw them in 1867?" 

Answer: "I saw them in Athens." 

Question: "In Limestone County?" 

Answer: "In Athens." 

Question: "How large a band?" 

Answer: "Well, sir, one band consisted of six. The 
other band of about seventy-five or one hundred." 

Question: "You may describe the occasion of their 
visit to Athens." 

Answer: "One visit was one night as I came from 
the cars. I saw them just riding through the town. 
They stopped on the square and cut up a good many 
gyrations, or performances. I remember one of them 
took my hat off, and took it some distance. I thought 
he had gotten it for good, but he brought it back 
to me." 

"The other visit was on the occasion of the Presi- 
dential election when they came in. We had some 
Federal soldiers, just to keep order; they rode up and 
asked for the Mayor of the town. 

"We were apprehending some disturbance at the 
polls. A great many people were in the town and we 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 161 

did not know but there might be some collision. One 
of the men in disguise asked the Mayor (I was pre- 
sent,) if he apprehended any disturbance during the 
day. He said, 'No,' he thought everything would be 

"The lieutenant of the Federal guard came up and 
spoke to the Ku Klux Klan and one of them turned to 
the lieutenant and the Mayor and said, 'If they don't 
keep good order, Lieutenant, just scratch on the 
ground, and I'll be with you.' " (This was said by 
Mr. W. R. (Dick) Pryor, the author has been 
informed. ) 

Question: "This visit was when the election oc- 

Answer : "Yes, sir, that is when the large body ap- 

Question : "From your first knowledge of the Order 
until 1868, was two years and a half, was it not?" 

Answer: "Yes, sir." 

Question: "During that time did this organization 
do any mischief in Limestone County?" 

Answer: "No, sir, none that I heard of. I heard no 
complaint made." 

Question: "No outrages were perpetrated upon 
persons to your knowledge or from information that 
you derived from others?" 

Answer: "No, sir, I do not know of any outrages 
that were laid to the account of the Ku Klux Klan at 
that time." 

Question: "Was that society ever known by any 


other name than the Ku Klux Klan in Limestone and 
adjoining counties?" 

Answer: "No, sir, I never heard of its being known 
by any other name." 

Question: "Did you ever hear of an organization 
known as the 'Invisible Circle'?" 

Answer: "No, sir." 

Question: " 'The Knights of the White Camelia'?" 

Answer: "No, sir, I never heard of them." 

Question: "Or the 'White Brotherhood'?" 

Answer: "No, sir." 

Question: "Have you ever heard of the 'Pale 

Answer: "No, sir." 

Question: "Have you ever known of an organiza- 
tion known as the 'Constitutional Union Guards'?" 

Answer: "No, sir." 

Question: "You think the body of men that com- 
pose the Ku Klux organization never assumed any 
other name or were known by any other name than 

Answer: "No, sir, they never assumed any other 


Question : "Are the Ku Klux Southern or Northern 

Answer: "They are all Southern men." 

Question: "You spoke, Mr. Coleman, of bands of 
disguised men whose objects are stealing, murdering 
and burning gins, etc. About how many bands have 
you known?" 

Answer: "The one I prosecuted a few months ago, 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 163 

signed themselves to a paper they posted up 'Men of 
Justice.' " 

Question: "Was not the law to suppress the Ku 
Klux Klan, bitterly assailed at the time of its pass- 

Answer: "I did not approve it myself, for I knew 
of no outrages then by the Ku Klux Klan, and the 
expression generally was, it had a salutary effect on 

Question: "What do you know about disguised men 
taking the negroes' guns away from them?" 

Answer: "I know of no band taking the negroes' 
guns, except the ones I prosecuted." 

This testimony given by Captain Coleman regard- 
ing these counterfeit Ku Klux Klans which were sent 
from the North to create the disturbances, harass and 
annoy the people into deeds of retaliation, was typical 
of the conditions throughout the South ; and the sub- 
committee soon found that the laws passed against the 
real Ku Klux Klan were operating against the agents 
of the government who had been sent for that 

Another instance of the injustice of these trials was 
the case of bogus Ku Klux being prosecuted and con- 
victed by Captain William Richardson, at Huntsville, 
Alabama, and they were immediately discharged by 
the Federal authorities, when it was learned that they 
were "carpet-baggers." 

This fact is stated in the testimony given by Cap- 
tain Richardson before the sub-committee at Hunts- 
ville, in the famous Ku Klux hearings. 


Captain Daniel Coleman and his brothers, Lieu- 
tenant Frank Coleman and Dr. Ruffin Coleman 
vowed vengeance on General Jesse J. Phillips, United 
States Army, who while plundering their home at 
Athens, Alabama, demanded of their mother to give 
him her false teeth because they were set on a gold 
plate, and when she refused, he commanded one of 
his officers to hold her head while he took them out, 
and he carried them away. 

General Phillips came to Athens, Alabama, in 1867 
and the Ku Klux Klan "Den" of which they were 
members found out their intention to challenge the 
General for a duel. 

The "Den" took the three Coleman men to the resi- 
dence of Dr. Nicholas Davis Richardson and guarded 
them for days until the General left the state, and 
when they still thought they would pursue him to 
avenge his insult to their mother, they were told by 
the Ku Klux Klan that if they broke their paroles as 
Confederate soldiers that they would expel them from 
the Ku Klux Klan. 

They then gave their word of honor to refrain from 
this act of vengeance however justifiable it was in 
the minds of the other men, for the Ku Klux Klan 
had determined as far as possible to prevent their 
own members from wreaking vengeance, or otherwise 
making trouble. 

Captain Coleman told me he was always glad that 
the Ku Klux Klan prevented him from this deed as it 
distressed his mother greatly when she learned how 
nearly they had begun another Civil War, for she was 

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highly loved and respected and not only her son but 
others would have joined in the deed. 

Daniel Coleman was born September 7, 1838, at 
Athens, Limestone County, Alabama, and died at 
Huntsville, Ala., June 29, 1906. He was the son of 
Daniel and Elizabeth Lockhart (Peterson) Coleman. 
He was descended from Col. Richard Cocke who came 
to Virginia and was a member of the House of 
Burgesses and who was offered the command of an 
army by King George in the Revolutionary War 
but refused and fought with the Virginians. Col. 
Cocke was descended from the Coke family who 
crossed the English channel with William the Con- 
queror and the first one who came to England was an 
officer in the Battle of Hastings. On one occasion 
when this officer had lost a battle he called to the 
officer on the other side and said, "Come and take my 
sword, I'll never surrender." Captain Coleman's 
grandfather, Daniel Coleman, was an officer in the 
Revolutionary war from Maryland and his sword 
which he used then was still in the possession of the 
Coleman family at Athens, Ala., until it was taken 
away by Federal soldiers during the Civil War. On 
the Coleman line, Captain Coleman is descended from 
the Key family of Maryland from which Francis 
Scott Key, the author of the "Star Spangled Ban- 
ner" was descended. Captain Coleman was a gallant 
Confederate soldier, had several horses killed under 
him during the Civil War and made many narrow 
escapes from death. He was a successful business 
man after the War and resided in Huntsville, Ala., 


until his death. He married Miss Claude LeVert by 
whom he is survived. Captain Coleman was one of 
the Assistant Judicial officers of the Invisible Empire 
and was one of the founders of the Athens, Alabama, 
Ku Klux Klan. 

General Nathan Bedford Forrest when testifying 
before the Joint Congressional Committee inquiring 
into the Affairs in the Insurrectionary States at 
Washington, D. C, June 27, 1871, made the follow- 
ing statements when being examined by the Chair- 
man, Mr. Beck: "You say that whatever organization 
of the Ku Klux Klan, or anything else, took place in 
the region with which you are familiar, it was gotten 
up through fear of the militia, and was the result of 
that state of things?" 

General Forrest : "That is my understanding of it." 

Question: "And for protection of themselves, 
when the law was considered powerless?" 

Answer: "According to my understanding, the or- 
ganization was intended entirely as a protection to 
the people, to enforce the laws, and protect the peo- 
ple against outrages." 

Question: "Without regard to whether they were 
perpetrated by democrats or republicans?" 

Answer: "Yes, sir, I do not think that would make 
any difference." 

Question: "Do you think the Ku Klux Klan was 
begun in Middle Tennessee?" 

Answer: "Yes, in Middle Tennessee. I have no 
idea who started it." 

Question: "Have you never heard?" 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 167 

Answer: "It has been said I originated it, that I 
started it." 

Question: "Is that true?" 

Answer: "No, sir, it is not." 

Question: "Did not the Ku Klux Klan admit 

Answer: "I do not know, but I do not think they 
admitted boys." 

Question: "What is your knowledge on the sub- 

Answer: "My information was that they admitted 
no man who was not a gentleman, and a man who 
could be relied upon to act discreetly; not men who 
were in the habit of drinking; boisterous men, or 
men liable to commit error or wrong, or anything of 
that sort; that is what I understood." 

General Forrest stated before this committee "that 
in the event of a war between the races in the South 
that the white people of the North would come to 
the assistance of the white people of the South if they 
have the same feelings toward their own race that 
the Southern people have, and I have no reason to 
believe that they have not." 

He was asked the question by the committee : 

"Do you call everybody who was in the rebel army 
and afterwards joined the republicans — do you call 
them scalawags?" 

Answer: "Yes, generally." 

Question: "Do you call all the people who go down 
there from the North, carpet-baggers?" 

Answer: "They are not all called carpet-baggers. 


There is a difference, they are a different class of 
people. They behave themselves, and do not mix 
with the negroes, and do not have anything to do 
with politics." 

Question: "What do you think is the effect of the 
amnesty granted to your people?" 

Answer: "I believe the amnesty restored all the 
rights to the people full and complete. I do not 
think the Federal Government has any right to dis- 
franchise any man, but the legislatures of the states 
have. There is a limit beyond which men cannot 
be driven, and I am ready to die sooner than sacrifice 
my honor. This thing must have an end, and it is 
now about time for that end to come." 

Question: "Then I suppose that there can be no 
doubt of a conflict if the militia interferes with the 
people; is that your view?" 

Answer: "Yes, sir, if they attempt to carry out 
Governor Brownlow's Proclamation by shooting 
down Ku Klux — for he calls all Southern men Ku 
Klux — if they go to hunting down and shooting these 
men, there will be war, and a bloodier one than we 
have ever witnessed. I have told these radicals here 
what they might expect in such an event. 

"I have no powder to burn killing negroes. I in- 
tend to kill the radicals. I have told them this and 
more. There is not a radical leader in this town, but 
is a marked man; and if trouble should break out, 
not one of them would be left alive. 

"I have told them that they were trying to create a 
disturbance and then slip out and leave the conse- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 169 

quences to fall upon the negro ; but they can't do it. 
Their houses are picketed, and when the fight comes 
not one of them would ever get out of this town alive. 

"We don't intend they shall ever get out of the 
country. But I want it distinctly understood that I 
am opposed to any war, and will only fight in self- 

"If the militia should attack us, we will resist to 
the last ; and if necessary, I think I could raise 40,000 
men in five days ready for the field." 

Question: "Do you think, General, that the Ku 
Klux Klan has been of any benefit to the State?" 

Answer: "No doubt of it." 

Question: "What do you think of negro suffrage?" 

Answer: "I am opposed to it under any and all cir- 
cumstances, and in our convention urged our party 
not to commit themselves at all upon the subject, 
and here I want you to understand distinctly I am 
not an enemy to the negro." 

Question: "You say that whatever organization of 
the Ku Klux Klan, or anything else, took place in the 
region of country with which you are familiar, it was 
gotten up through fear of depredations by the militia, 
and was the result of that state of things?" 

Answer: "That is my understanding of it." 

Question: "And for the protection of themselves 
where the law was considered powerless?" 

Answer: "According to my understanding, the or- 
ganization was intended entirely as a protection to 
the people, to enforce the laws, and protect the peo- 
ple against outrages." 


Question: "Without any regard to whether they 
were perpetrated by democrats or republicans?" 

Answer: "Yes, sir, I do not think that would make 
any difference; that is, that is my impression, while 
I do not know that is so — that was the general under- 
standing in the community." 

When Mr. Beck referred to an interview given to 
a reporter of the Cineiimati Commercial and pub- 
lished in that paper in Sept. 1, 1868, and General 
Forrest's correction by letter of these statements and 
published in this paper in Sept. 3, 1867, General 
Forrest said he had been grossly misrepresented by 
this reporter, when he published that he had said there 
were 550,000 Ku Klux in the South. He said he 
objected to this, as he had only said "it was reported, 
and I believe the report that there are 40,000 Ku 
Klux in Tennessee, and I believe the organization 
stronger in other states." 


The Union League of America was organized in 
Ohio in 1862, when the Confederate States Army 
had been victorious on many battle-fields. 

Many northern people were banding together to 
resist the war when their sense of truth and justice 
had been shocked by the Emancipation Proclama- 
tion. Interest in the war had waned all over the 
North, for the best element there knew that President 
Lincoln in his inaugural speech March 4, 1861 had 

"I have no purpose directly or indirectly to inter- 
fere with the institution of slavery in the States where 
it exists; I believe I have no lawful right to do so 
and I have no inclination to do so." 

When General John C. Fremont issued a procla- 
mation emancipating the slaves of certain persons, 
President Lincoln countermanded it, and thus led 
the people North and South to believe he intended 
to keep his word of non-interference with slavery as 
made in his inaugural address. 

But on Jan. 1, 1863, Mr. Lincoln issued a "Proc- 
lamation of Emancipation" declaring all slaves in 
the seceding States to be free. "There is certainly 
no authority conferred upon a President by the Con- 



stitution of the United States to take such a step 
under any circumstances." 

The Union League was organized in New York in 
January 1863 immediately after the Emancipation 
Proclamation, to combat the effect of it as it had 
greatly depressed the enthusiasm for the war and 
Mr. Lincoln ; this branch of the League was especially 
pledged to fight in behalf of the people of the North, 
in States rights. 

The Union League which had been founded by a 
few men in Ohio (Cleveland) in 1862, organized 
branches in many large cities of the North to keep 
up the morale of the Union Army, as it was greatly 
demoralized at that time, and their ardour was cooled 
by Lincoln's failure to keep his word in regard to 

The Union League sent their agents to the South 
and distributed leaflets to the negroes, instructing 
them to outrage the women and children, to force 
the Confederate soldiers to come home for their 

My mother said one of our slaves, Alex, brought 
this vile paper to her, and as he could not read she 
read it to him — and he said, "I would die before I 
would harm you or the children, or allow any other 
man, white or black, to hurt you." 

He asked for my father's shot gun, and bringing 
an axe sat down on the steps, and guarded the house 
day and night until my father returned home, as he 
was at that time absent. 

There was not an instance during slavery or dur- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 173 

ing the Civil War, when a negro man assaulted a 
white woman, and all over the South they protected 
the homes and children — this fact was the funda- 
mental reason that led the men of the South to be as 
patient as they were with the negroes when many of 
them made drunk by mean white men during the 
period of Reconstruction would do wrong; but they 
were the younger negroes and the free negroes from 
the North, who, after being freed, as in Rhode 
Island, had been exiled and were wanderers, were 
brought South by the Union League to do the crimes 
that the former faithful slaves would not do. 

The Southern women appreciate this protection 
given us by these negro men, and too little has been 
known of it in the North. 

The Union League continued its vicious work dur- 
ing the reconstruction period, both North and South, 
and is responsbile more than any other agency for 
the bitterness engendered between these sections. 

This League was the first to suggest negro suf- 
frage — and after the war the League increased enor- 
mously, and in most cases, with the lowest order of 
men on earth, who would send reports to the North 
of conditions which did not exist in the South. 

The members of this League were the men who 
were the spurious imitators of the uniforms and re- 
galia of the Ku Klux Klan, who would kill, whip and 
otherwise punish negroes who refused to do their vile 
bidding, and report them as outrages done by the real 
Ku Klux Klan. 


In the border States, especially Kentucky, this 
League perpetrated many outrages in 1870, which 
caused the real Ku Klux Klan to become more active 
there. One of the most notoriously dishonest, un- 
truthful of the Freedman's Bureau Agents, and tool 
of the Union League was J. W. Alvord, General 
Superintendent of Education of the Freedmen's 
Bureau, and whose experience with the real Ku Klux 
Klan is given in his own words in a letter from him 
to Gen. O. O. Howard: 

Berea, Kentucky, Jan. 29, 1870. 
Dear General: 

I regret to report threats and a species of guerilla 
warfare still existing. At ten o'clock last night we 
were startled amid the darkness with the loud cry 
ringing through the forest, "Hurrah for Jeff Davis. 
Jeff Davis is a white man/' But the Ku Klux Klan 
knew that eveiy student (male, negro) here carried 
a revolver, in line on the first alarm, and they did not 
leave the beaten path. The past twenty-four hours 
have been in the midst of the Ku Klux Klan. At this 
moment a fierce yell directly in my ear, wheeled me 
half way around with its stunning force. I had heard 
the same (multitudinous) on rebel battle-fields. I 
still hear of the Ku Klux outrages. We still are 
obliged to hold them in mystery as to our mission. 
We intimated that the General Government would 
be obliged to suppress these atrocities. 

Yours very respectfully, 

J. W. Alvord, 
Gen. Supt. of Education. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 175 

Richmond, Ky., Jan. 29, 1870. 
Dear General: 

I wrote on leaving Louisville ; then on a fast train, 
soon found myself in what is called the "Blue Grass 
Region of Kentucky," no part of the country — per- 
haps of the world, — excels in fertility this remarkable 
belt. Herds of cattle and horses, even at this cold 
season are grazing the meadows and rich pasture 
slopes — but in general there is to a Northern eye, an 
air of unthrift and discomfort, a painful discrepancy 
between means and ends, as though some strange 
blight had passed over the land and the people, leav- 
ing everywhere its poison. 

Stopping for the night in this county seat (Madi- 
son Co.) we are at a diminutive hotel, not temper- 
ance, kept by an ex-Rebel, Headquarters of the Ku 
Klux or "marauders" are not far from here — no one 
is supposed to know where (I heard that some ne- 
groes were killed near here). 

Very respectfully yours, 

J. W. Alvord, 
General O. O. Howard. Gen. Supt. of Ed. F. B. 

Nashville, Tenn., 
Jan. 26, 1870. 
Dear General: 

This city is the center of culture and political influ- 
ence in Tennessee, and is now quite astir with the 
State Convention and the Legislature. Both bodies 
indicate within the last few days some advance in the 
right direction, as seen in the discussion of further 
educational provisions, and enactment against that 


nuisance, now beginning to be universally felt, the 
Ku Klux, or as they are here called "masked ma- 
rauders" — 

Even in the schools of the charitable societies it is 
the custom to have the pupils pay fifty cents per 
month. There is no complaint of this, such is the 
unabated desire for learning. 

Yours very respectfully, 

J. W. Alvord, 
General O. O. Howard. Gen. Supt. of Ed. F. B. 

"Lo! the poor nigger!" Believing that he was 
being provided schools by Northern charity, was com- 
pelled to slave and pay money to those thieving 
agents, while the Bureau creating these schools was 
supported by the Government. 

Condition of the white children of the South in 
regard to schools is shown by the following letter 
from J. W. Alvord to Gen. O. O. Howard. 

Columbia, S. C, 
Jan. 7, 1870. 
Dear General: 

I have been much interested in witnessing the so- 
cial elevation of the Freedmen at this place. The 
Governor, R. K. Scott, in his receptions, makes no 
distinctions among the members of the legislature 
(125 of whom are colored), all are taken equally by 
the hand with the graceful urbanity for which his 
honor is distinguished. All alike, on such occasions 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 177 

crowd around his luxurious refreshment tables, where 
as his accomplished lady told me there were no in- 
vidious distinctions made. 

You will remember at the dinner given on your ac- 
count, and at which I had the honor of being a guest, 
his Secretary of State, Hon. F. L. Cardoza and 
his lady (both colored) received equal attention with 
other officials and ladies and gentlemen of the high- 
est standing. I could but feel as I looked on that 
agreeable circle that equality of character and cul- 
ture were the conditions of equality in social life. 
The Governor has followed the same rule on other 
occasions, and in conversation with me said he could 
allow himself to adopt none other. His opinion is 
that in our higher institutions of learning, cultured 
youth of both colors will come, at length, to associate 
on equal terms, and that scholarship and general re- 
finement, on each side will gradually settle the ques- 
tion of mixed schools. 

At Orangeburg I found the Claflin University in 
the large and beautiful building (late the Orange- 
burg Female Academy) which was repaired by 
Mr. Deane of the Bureau at an expense of $2,500 
with about one hundred students under the efficient 

care of Dr. Webster It will probably ask for 

further assistance from the Bureau. 

I have the honor to be yours, etc., 

Respectfully, J. W. Alvord, 
Supt. of Ed. R. F. and A. L. 
Gen. O. O. Howard. 


This was just one instance of thousands where the 
school property was stolen by the Freedman's Bu- 
reau, and negroes put in them, thereby robbing the 
Southern white children of their educational rights. 

Mr. Alvord reckoned without his host in thinking 
that there ever would be mixed schools (negroes and 
whites) in the South — and the white children do all 
honor to the Ku Klux Klan for preventing even at 
the point of bayonets such a condition for them. 

These negro schools were taught by Northern white 

For the white children there were no schools. The 
University of Alabama made an effort to open in 
1865, but only one student appeared, as a carpet- 
bagger named Lakin had taken it — the worst type 
of man, and the one who was abused by Colonel Nich- 
olas Davis, who for which was falsely called in Con- 
gressional hearings a "scalawag." He was a finished 
scholar, yet this report of the committee is made in the 
most incorrect language, bearing falsehood on the 
face of it. 

During reconstruction, many school buildings were 
ordered burned by the Union League, because the 
white children did not go to them with the negroes. 
A notable instance occurred in Tuscumbia, Alabama, 
near Muscle Shoals, when the negroes were told by 
these League agents to burn the town. They refused 
to do so, saying there were good people there, and 
then the agent set fire to the Tuscumbia school for 

The white children were taught at home by their 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 179 

parents, and a few private schools opened in the 
homes of Southern women. I attended my first 
school in the home of Miss Sally Malone, at Athens, 
Alabama, and my father, with the other fathers, 
always went with us to protect the lady as far as 
possible, as there were threats that negroes would be 
sent there by the Federal soldiers. 

At this time, from 1870 to 1877, the Ku Klux Klan, 
either in their regalia or without it, were ever near 
the women and children protecting them, while work- 
ing at anything they could do to provide for them. 

Major Robert Donnell was our neighbor, and 
when my father was away from home, he would take 
my sisters and me to school. He told me years 
afterwards that he was one of the children's Ku Klux 
guards, and the following is a sketch of his war 
record. Private Company E, 50th Alabama Regi- 
ment. Major 22nd Alabama Infantry, and was 
Adjutant, in General D. H. Hill's Division. Pa- 
roled May 1865. He was a cultured gentleman of 
the old school of Southern chivalry. He was one of 
the founders of the Athens, Alabama, Ku Klux Klan 
and was the Grand Scribe of the "Invisible Empire," 



General Nathan B. Forrest was on his plantation 
near Memphis, Tennessee, but at all times he was 
available to the Ku Klux Klan for his advice and 
guidance. When the newspaper reports of the crimes 
committed by the Clark band of Tories reached him, 
and the Northern press attributed it to the Ku Klux 
Klan, he immediately went to Florence, having noti- 
fied the leaders to meet him there to consider what 
steps should be taken to apprehend and punish des- 
peradoes and wipe out the odium which had been at- 
tributed to the Ku Klux Klan by the Northern 

General John B. Gordon of Georgia was visiting 
his brother, Major E. C. Gordon, of Athens, Ala- 
bama, at this time and represented the Georgia Ku 
Klux Klan at this meeting, which was presided over 
by General Nathan B. Forrest and from which great 
results were anticipated. 

This meeting was held on the plantation of Gen- 
eral George S. Houston, which is located at Muscle 
Shoals on the Tennessee River. 

(A description of this meeting was given me by 
Major James R. Crowe and Captain John C. Lester, 
who represented the Pulaski Klan, and by Colonel 


KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 181 

Lawrence Ripley Davis, Captain William Richard- 
son, Captain John M. Townsend, Colonel T. J. Cox, 
Mr. R. B. Mason, and Major Robert Donnell.) 

During this meeting General George S. Houston 
said that Alabama must be rescued from radical rule, 
and his life-time friend, Colonel Lawrence Ripley 
Davis, replied to him, that he was the only man in 
Alabama who could defeat any Radical candidate, 
and that if he would consent to be a candidate, he 
would "stump the state" in his behalf. 

In 1874, when General Houston made the race 
for governor against David P. Lewis, a Radical, he 
held Mr. Davis to his promise, and they canvassed 
every county in the State together. Economy was 
a leading trait of General George S. Houston, both 
with his private funds and public trusts; so he had a 
wagon made of hickory wood, with spring seats and 
had the wheels built very high so he could ford the 
streams. He employed a young man, Mr. Maclin 
Hill, to drive for him, on this immortal canvass, which 
won for him the election of governor in 1874 and his 
re-election in 1876, thus wresting the State from the 
rule of the Radicals and negroes. 

By his wise business policy, Alabama was enabled 
to pay her honorable debts, though at the time of 
his election the State had neither funds nor credit, 
even to hold the Constitutional Convention in 1875. 
Governor Houston pledged his private purse that 
the same would be paid if the people could not raise 
the money. He was never called upon to do this, 


as, by some miracle, they managed to raise the nec- 
essary funds. 

Governor George S. Houston served in the United 
States Congress from 1841 to January 1861. When 
secession seemed almost a certainty, he became a 
member of the famous Committee of Thirty-three 
to devise means to save the Union, but when Alabama 
seceded he wrote and presented to the Speaker the 
formal withdrawal of the Alabama delegation from 
the Federal Congress. 

He was earnestly opposed to secession as was Col- 
onel Lawrence Ripley Davis, who was a member of 
the Alabama Legislature when Alabama seceded. 
Both of them, while they were bitterly opposed to 
secession gracefully yielded to the will of the ma- 
jority, and Colonel Lawrence Ripley Davis, at the 
request of the governor of Alabama, made speeches 
throughout the Tennessee valley, persuading the 
people of North Alabama to acquiesce in the result of 
the secession convention, and did great work in over- 
coming the bitter opposition to secession in that sec- 
tion of the State. 

General George S. Houston did all in his power to 
aid the Confederacy. Two of his sons were in the 
Confederate Army. He would not take the oath of 
allegiance to the Federal Government after the War. 

Colonel Lawrence Ripley Davis was secretary to 
George S. Houston during his four years as governor, 
and together they formulated many of the wise 
measures which enabled Alabama to recover from 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 183 

Governor Houston was elected to the United 
States Senate, but served only a short time when he 
died in Athens, Dec. 31, 1879, honored and beloved 
by all Alabamians. 

The Ku Klux Klan, who were directly responsible 
for the redemption of Alabama from misrule, re- 
joiced in the re-election of Governor Houston in 1876, 
and many thousands of them paraded in Athens, 
Alabama, Governor Houston's home, to pay him 
tribute. This was the last parade of the Ku Klux 
Klan at that place. 

The torchlights in this parade were decorated with 
banners on which pictures of men who had believed 
in negro rule were painted, half black and half white. 
This unique idea was conceived and the pictures 
painted by a young boy, Arthur Pepin, who was 
greatly applauded by the older men, for the pictures 
were so life-like the faces could be recognized by the 
immense number of people in the parade. The men 
thus caricatured by the boy (who was true blue) were 
so frightened that they left the town. 

About sixty worthy negro men, who had been 
faithful to the white people during the war and this 
dreadful time of reconstruction, and who voted for 
Governor Houston, were in this parade, having been 
provided with horses by the Ku Klux Klan. 

Otho Fraser, a negro man who is still living at 
Athens, Alabama, at the age of 96, described this 
parade to me in detail, and is proud to have been 
numbered among the negroes who were shown by this 
act that the white people appreciated their fidelity; 


he has always been a credit to his race, and said to 
me that "If all the people in the world were at work 
each day, making shoes, as I do — or something else — 
there would be no problems to settle for white or 

He is shown great respect by the white people of 
Athens, and he has reared a family of efficient men 
and women. At his advanced age he is physically 
and mentally very alert and he says he knows many 
of the Ku Klux Klan secrets which he will never 

The government at Washington, realizing that the 
Democratic party was gaining in strength in the 
South, began to use every means in their power to 
elect Republicans, and to further incense the South 
ern people. 

In South Carolina, among the first acts of Gov- 
ernor Scott's radical administration, was the organ- 
ization of 8,000 negro militia, and he went in person 
to General Grant, and induced him, without any 
authority of law to issue arms under the Congres- 
sional appropriation for twenty years in advance. 

These arms were the newly perfected Springfield 
rifles, and this negro militia was furnished with 
United States Army uniforms and equipment. On 
the 4th of July, 1876, these companies were drilling 
under a negro named Doc. Adams. 

Meeting a party of young white men on the high- 
way he gave the order to charge bayonets to compel 
the advancing men to flee. But they were not of 
that kind. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 185 

They reached for their pistols and shouted: "We 
will shoot the first man who sticks a bayonet in a 
horse!" The negroes could have butchered the white 
men with great ease, but the Captain shouted "Halt" 
to his men, and opened his ranks so that the white 
men could pass. 

After this it was the settled purpose of the leading 
white men in South Carolina to seize the first oppor- 
tunity to teach the negroes a lesson. 

It was believed by these men now, that all other 
efforts having failed at Washington, by the appeals 
of the leaders of the South, "that nothing but blood- 
shed, and a great deal of it," could answer the 
purpose of relieving that State from negro and 
carpet-bag rule. 

Quickly followed the riots known as the "Ned 
Tennant Riot" and the "Hamburgh Riot," and other 
clashes between the negroes and white men. 

The "Hamburgh Riot" caused such a furore 
throughout the North, and the Republican press was 
waving the "bloody shirt" with such frantic energy, 
that the South Carolina men decided that they would 
wave the bloody shirt in reality, in defiance. 

So a parade was arranged, and shirts, stained with 
red were made by the women. This parade was 
known as the "Red Shirt Parade." 

Many men who participated in it were Ku Klux 
Klansmen who felt that they could co-operate with 
them for they knew full well the powers of an odd and 
spectacular uniform in putting fear into the hearts of 


the rebellious and fractious negroes who were author- 
ized by the government to maintain military authority. 

The "Red Shirt Organization" served to draw the 
bond of race closer together, and to emphasize the 
one thought "white supremacy," which pulsated in 
every white bosom. It was "all for one and one for 

Their activities were coincident with those of the 
Ku Klux Klan until South Carolina was redeemed in 
1877, and for many years the "Red Shirts" held 
their annual reunion, and I quote this from a speech 
made by Senator Benjamin R. Tillman at the 
"Red Shirt Reunion at Anderson, S. C, Aug. 25, 

After appearing before the Congressional sub- 
committee at Huntsville as a witness, General For- 
rest called the Ku Klux Klan together there and 
stated to them that he had been convinced that some- 
thing must be done, and at once, to establish home 
rule in the South, and to go to the rescue of South 
Carolina. He directed the Ku Klux Klans to meet 
him at "Capshaw's Mountain," Madison County, 
Alabama. At this meeting were many of the leading 
Confederate Generals, among them General John B. 

General Forrest instructed the Ku Klux Klan to 
make a regalia suitable for military purposes, of white 
cloth, bordered with red. I have a clear recollection 
of the women of the neighborhood meeting at my 
mother's home and making many of these garments, 

KU KLUX KLA2J, 1865-1877 187 

and I learned to sew, while assisting them to stitch on 
red bias folds. 

It was at this time that I received my impression 
of General Forrest. He came from this meeting on 
Capshaw's Mountain to be the guest of my parents, 
Colonel and Mrs. Lawrence Ripley Davis, at "Wood- 
lawn," Madison County, Alabama. 

This visit was indelibly impressed on my mind by 
the fact that my mother made a special effort in those 
hard times to prepare a typical Southern dinner 
for the distinguished guest. I remember that all 
the neighbors, far and near, brought from their 
pantries all the delicacies which at that time her home 
was deprived of; for General Forrest was the hero 
of all hearts throughout that section, as he had saved 
it on several occasions during the Civil War. 

The picture that he made on my childish mind was 
that he towered in height and soldierly bearing above 
other tall men present, as his form was reflected in 
mirrors above the mantle, standing with his back to 
the firelight which flickered brightly against crimson 
carpets and curtains. That so great a man as General 
Forrest should, as he did, play a game of chess with 
me on the floor, with the red and white chess men, 
used then, is indeed an incident to be remembered 
with pride. 

During this evening one of the chief topics was the 
cotton tax that had been illegally imposed after the 
war, and the devising of some means for General 
Gordon to present the subject at Washington for 
the return of the millions of dollars collected by the 


government. This tax was the means of ruining 
many of the Southern planters and it was at this 
time that I heard my father say to General Forrest 
that on account of this tax, he would be compelled to 
at last give up his beautiful home and go to Athens 
to try and make a livelihood for his family. 

General Forrest seemed much concerned and urged 
General Gordon to hurry to Washington on the mis- 
sion about the cotton, but nothing was ever accom- 

Soon after this, my father had to move to Athens, 
and I had to bid farewell to this home that I loved and 
to the magnificent forest oaks, wide-spreading chest- 
nut trees, and tall aspens whose rustling leaves had 
seemed to me to be the whisperings of angels. This 
was my first great grief, when I told my trees good- 
bye, and played for the last time on the mossy carpet 
beneath them, I left them with a promise to return 
when the cotton tax was paid. (It has been fifty 
years, and the government has never settled the cot- 
ton claims.) 

My father was only one instance of many planters 
who remained on their lands in order to give work 
to their former slaves who had been faithful and 
were still willing to work. This illegal tax on the 
cotton made it impossible for the white men to get 
a financial footing to enable them to remain on their 
plantations; and so the better class of negroes were 
set adrift without any assistance or means of support. 

Some of them however, were able by their industry 

Chaplain Confederate States Army; Poet Laureate of the 
South; Grand Chaplain of the "Invisible Empire," Ku Klux Klan. 

"He soothed the suffering soul of the stricken South by writing 

'The Conquered Banner' a few days after General Robert E. Lee 
surrendered the Confederate States Army." 

(Contibuted by Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Pepin, 
Washington, D. C. ) 


Confederate States Army 
Incarnated Spirit of the Ku Klux Klan and the "Invisible Empire' 

(First time this photograph has been published, 
by courtesy of L. C. Handy, Washington, D. C.) 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 189 

to buy little homes and pay for them as the years 
went by. I even know of instances where, through 
their being able to earn wages they would take it to 
their former owners, telling them to use some of it 
to keep them from starving, and in after years, when 
the white people had recovered, they took great pleas- 
ure in showing their appreciation in every way, for 
their faithfulness. 

After General Forrest held the Ku Klux Klan 
meeting on Capshaw's Mountain he returned to his 
plantation near Memphis and soon afterwards, Gen- 
eral Wade Hampton of South Carolina went to his 
Yazoo Delta Plantation to make an effort to rehabili- 
tate it. At this time he called on General Forrest and 
while they were discussing the unbearable conditions 
in South Carolina, General Forrest said to him that 
it was his duty to return to South Carolina and make 
the race for Governor; and if elected he would see 
that he was seated, if it took the efforts of the Ku 
Klux Klan. 

The Nashville convention decided to extend the 
Ku Klux Klan to the District of Columbia and to the 
seceded states. This constituted the INVISIBLE 
EMPIRE over which General Forrest, the Grand 
Wizard, had complete control; and he commanded 
from the headquarters of the original Ku Klux Klan 
at Pulaski, Tenn., which place remained the seat of 
authority until the close of the Ku Klux Klan's ex- 
istence in 1877. From there he sent klansmen to 
each state, with appointments as Grand Dragons of 


the Realms of these states and the District of Co- 
lumbia, who were to report to him the progress of 
the order and to appoint all other officers created 
at the convention. 

The expansion of the Ku Klux Klan was so rapid 
and created so much comment throughout the country 
as to necessitate many meetings at the headquarters 
with Forrest and the Grand Dragons of the Realms. 

The object of these meetings was to devise means 
to hold the order itself in check, and also to find ways 
of detecting and apprehending the men sent South 
by the spurious Ku Klux Klan, for the purpose of 
fomenting ill will between the negroes and white 
people of the South. 

It was proven at all times that the crimes com- 
mitted were instigated by the spurious Ku Klux Klan 
sent there by the politicians at Washington to assist 
the carpet-baggers and the Military authorities who 
were in control of the South at this time in making 
it appear that the people of the South were still 

Many instances occurred where these impostors 
were arrested and tried, but would be set free by the 
authorities who were in league with the spurious 
Ku Klux Klan. 

The Washington Post of August 13, 1905, states 
that when Brownlow was endeavoring to crush out 
the Ku Klux Klan in Tennessee, one of his detectives 
gained admission to the order. His purposes became 
known and the Nashville Den which he had joined 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 191 

under false pretenses put him in a barrel and rolled 
it into the Cumberland river and he was drowned. 
The States of the South given here are examples of 
all reconstruction — in the other States of the "In- 
visible Empire." 




To cover the history of reconstruction in the 
seceded states would require many volumes. I will 
only include the salient points for the District of 
Columbia and the states comprising the Confederate 
States of America which later became the "Invisible 

The contest for negro suffrage for the District of 
Columbia was being waged in 1866 before the people 
of the North and their Congress, as the Southern 
states were denied representation in Congress at 
that time. 

The negro race had been the only one in the world's 
history to hold an entire continent against the inva- 
sion of civilization and to maintain barbarism for 
centuries. The Moors and Egyptians had tried to 
conquer Africa from the North. The Asiatics had 
tried to enter it from the East, and other European 
Nations had assailed it with their power but had 
failed to penetrate the "dark continent." 

This was the fierce battle the negroes had fought 
in Africa to keep out civilization, but were finally 
captured and sold into slavery into this country* 


KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 193 

They then began to be developed and converted to 
civilization and Christianity. 

In the Northern part of the United States the 
climate was so severe, coming as they did from tropi- 
cal regions, their labor was not very profitable, the 
winters being so long and cold and they suffered 
intensely with the cold and many of them died and 
their children were becoming less enabled to stand 
the severe climate. 

In the southern part of the United States the cli- 
mate agreed with the negroes, and cotton raising and 
other outdoor work was better suited to his capacity 
than the work in the North where he was expected to 
do skilled labor for which his mind had not become 
fitted. Finding the ownership of them unprofitable, 
the northern people sold their slaves to the slave own- 
ers of the southern states. 

Previous to the Civil War a free state for liberated 
slaves had been founded by philanthropists in 
Liberia, and many negroes who had been given their 
freedom by their masters, both north and south, had 
been taken there, but it proved a failure. Hayti and 
San Domingo Black Republics were colossal failures. 

With these warnings before Congress the idea of 
universal suffrage for negroes was decided on and a 
bill for "the extension of suffrage to the colored race 
in the District of Columbia, both as a right and an 
example" was before the Senate. It was understood 
that the southern states which had seceded in 1861 
were to be treated the same as the District of 


The only question raised in the debates on this bill 
was whether the votes should be confined to the 
negroes who could read and write, and Mr. Charles 
Sumner said in regard to this measure: "Now to my 
mind nothing is clearer than the absolute necessity 
of suffrage for all colored persons in the disorganized 

"It will not be enough if you give it to those who 
read and write. You will not in this way acquire 
the voting force which you need there for the pro- 
tection of the Unionists, whether white or black. 
You will not secure the new allies who are essential to 
the national cause" The bill granting suffrage to 
the colored race in the District of Columbia was 
passed on January 7, 1867, and President Johnson 
returned it making objections, saying: "this is not 
the place for such an experiment. " 

Senator John Sherman said, when the veto of the 
President was being debated: "The President says 
this is not the place for this experiment. I say it is 
the place of all others because if the negroes abuse 
the political power we give them we can withdraw 
the privilege at any moment." 

The Constitution of the United States gives Con- 
gress complete control of the District of Columbia. 
When another law, passed while Grant was Presi- 
dent, gave the District of Columbia the right to elect 
its own Legislature and Governor, then the negroes 
showed their want of capacity as a "right and an 
example" for the sun of "pitiless publicity" shone 
on the Capital, and the whole country realized that 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 195 

they did not know how to use their vote, and so many- 
abuses of the power of negro suffrage were apparent 
that this power was withdrawn in 1874 after only 
a few years of "experiment"; and in so doing de- 
prived the white men of the District of Columbia of 
the franchise which they had long held, but which has 
not been restored to them after a half century. 

The law giving the negroes the vote was not so 
easily withdrawn in the Southern states, and the evils 
attendant upon it there cannot be described, but some 
of them are set forth as extenuating circumstances 
which justify the existence of the Ku Klux Klan in 
the South from 1865 to 1877. One of the most un- 
constitutional acts of the United States Government 
during the Civil War was closing Trinity Episcopal 
Church in Washington City, because the rector 
prayed for the Confederate States of America. 

Congress had no right under the Constitution of 
the United States to interfere with suffrage in the 
states and the Ku Klux Klan determined to convince 
them of their error at Washington. 

A spurious Ku Klux Klan was organized in the 
District of Columbia in 1866 and its operations and 
purposes were to discredit the Ku Klux Klan of the 
South, but their schemes were checkmated by the real 
Ku Klux Klan. 

The authentic Ku Klux Klan had a strong Realm 
in the District of Columbia, whose duty it was to 
follow the movements of these impostors who were 
planning through such men as Thaddeus Stevens and 



Benjamin Butler and other radicals to subjugate the 
Southern states and make of them a "black republic." 
The Ku Klux Klan of the Realm of the District 
of Columbia was alternately commanded by Capt. 
John C. Lester, Major James R. Crowe, and Capt. 
John B. Kennedy of the original Ku Klux Klan of 
Pulaski, Tennessee, and Colonel Sumner A. Cunning- 
ham, Grand Monk of the "Invisible Empire," whose 
duty it was with their aid to do secret service. Col- 
onel Cunningham gave me this fact for this history. 


Confederate States Army 

Chief Justice of the "Invisible Empire" (Ku Klux Klan) 

Father of Scottish Rite Masonry 

(Reproduction of oil painting presented by- 
Mr. Yvon Pike, Leesburg, Va., son of 
General Pike, for this History.) 


Virginia suffered more than any state during the 
Civil War because she fed both armies while on her 
soil. It was the chief battle ground of the conflict 
and the capital of the Confederate States of America 
being at Richmond made it necessary to keep so 
many of the Confederate soldiers within her borders 
for her support which alone would have taxed her 
resources without the plundering of her state by the 
Federal army. 

From 1861 to 1865 the Government of Virginia 
at Richmond and the Confederate Government re- 
ceived the most loyal support of all of her citizens 
and when it became plain that the Southern Confed- 
eracy was a "Lost Cause" the state government 
would have adopted a liberal policy at Washington 
and her people being united could have led by re- 
storing Virginia to her place in the Union. 

But she was not to be so fortunate for President 
Lincoln changed his policy towards this state when 
he revoked his order for the meeting of the General 
Assembly and she then suffered more by the recon- 
struction which followed this act than any other 
State for her domain was rent asunder and she lost 
one-third of her territory as the State of West Vir- 



ginia was made from it. There were three govern- 
ments in Virginia; Richmond, Wheeling and 

Congress admitted West Virginia with 48 coun- 
ties and a subsequent act granted the annexation of 
two others. The extent of the spoliation of Virginia, 
which was contemplated by the Wheeling Govern- 
ment in West Virginia while still claiming to repre- 
sent the Old Commonwealth was that fifty coun- 
ties were actually transferred and appropriated by 
West Virginia, but the Wheeling Legislature passed 
"An act providing for taking the sense of the voters 
of Accomack and Northampton whether or not they 
will be annexed to Maryland," and another act giv- 
ing consent to the admission of certain counties into 
the new state of West Virginia on certain conditions. 

There had been a convention at Wheeling in June, 
1861, and Francis H. Pierpoint had been elected 
"Governor of Virginia." Although the entire ter- 
ritory represented in and supporting him had become 
another state and elected another governor, yet 
he posed as the governor of all Virginia not trans- 
ferred to West Virginia. 

The Bill for the admission of West Virginia 
passed the Senate of the United States in July, 1862, 
but there being some delay in the House of Repre- 
sentatives the Wheeling Legislature, still as the 
Legislature of Virginia, not only memorialized the 
House to pass the bill dismembering the Common- 
wealth and alienating part of her territory, but also 
requested the resignation of Hon. John S. Carlisle 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 199 

who as Senator from Virginia had resisted the dis- 
memberment of his native state. 

On the 31st of December, 1862, the President 
signed a bill previously passed by both Houses that 
at the expiration of 60 days West Virginia would be 
one of the sovereign and co-equal states of the Union, 
and on the 20th of June, 1863, the day her state- 
hood and position in the Union became complete the 
government of West Virginia was formally 

"One of the most remarkable features of this 
story is the complacency with which conventions, leg- 
islatures and governors, purporting to represent the 
Commonwealth of Virginia proposed and consented to 
repeated partitions and transfers of her territory — 
one sovereignty acting for every party and interest 
concerned in the transaction — in turn promoter of the 
scheme, donor of the territory and recipient of the 


In December, 1865, the duly elected representa- 
tives of Virginia appeared in the Capitol at Wash- 
ington and deposited their credentials with the 
Clerk. They took their seats upon the floor but upon 
the call of the House the Clerk had not entered the 
name of a single representative of a Southern state 
upon the rolls, and the hopes that Lincoln had raised 
in the hearts of the people of Virginia were suddenly 

There was no time for defense. The outrage was 
consummated as soon as suggested, and upon what 
ground can it be defended? "Would the representa- 


tives from the Southern States have been barred out 
of Congress in 1865 if either with or without negro 
suffrage these states had been so organized as to give 
fair assurance of substantial republican majorities?" 

There was no resistance in Virginia at the time to 
national authority; no excitement, no disorder, no 
insecurity of life or property which justified the sup- 
pression of the fresh life of the state and the new 
hopes of her people. This ejection of the representa- 
tive from Virginia without assigning any reason or 
being given a chance to be heard did more to en- 
gender in Virginia a resentment against the general 
government than all of the military operations on her 
soil during the war. 

The people felt that they had made every conces- 
sion and conciliation consistent with their honesty 
when they sustained the Pierpoint government thus 
adding to it the seal of popular favor which it lacked. 

They felt that the government of the state organ- 
ized under it ought to stand in an exceptionally 
strong position with the government of the United 
States as having furnished not only the first rallying 
point for Union sentiment in the South, but the first 
model for the readmissoin of all the southern states, 
and they felt this treatment to be a violation of good 
faith, not only of logical and legal consistency but 
of good faith itself. 

This situation occurring as it did almost coincident 
with the founding of the Ku Klux Klan in Tennessee 
caused her people to invite the Ku Klux Klan from 
Tennessee to form klans in Virginia in February, 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 201 

1866, and it spread very rapidly and was the chief 
means of allaying the spirit of resistance which had 
risen in the hearts of the Virginia people, and a desire 
on their part to begin the war again. 

It was said that the legislation of the Southern 
states with reference to the Freedmen was justifica- 
tion for these severe terms of reconstruction imposed 
upon them. This has also been made a ground 
to justify the refusal of the House of Representa- 
tives to admit the delegation elected from the 
Southern states to the Thirty-ninth Congress, but 
this excuse utterly failed in regard to Virginia, for her 
representatives were refused admission on December 
4, 1865, while the "Vagrant Act," the only statute 
we have ever known specified as unfair to Freedmen, 
was passed January 15, 1866. 

General Terry published an order far and wide in 
which he said the Virginia Act declared all persons 
vagrant who broke a contract with an employer and 
in this case authorized the employer to work the run- 
away an additional month with ball and chain, if 
necessary. Is it any wonder that by such false state- 
ments as given in Terry's order the Northern heart 
was fired against the South, but no such statute was 
ever passed in Virginia. 

General Robert E. Lee testified before the Recon- 
struction Committee at Washington on February 17, 
1866, that he believed the people of the South would 
uphold the government of the United States for the 
future. "I believe that they entirely acquiesce in 
the government of the United States and that they 


are for cooperating with President Johnson m his 
policy in regard to the restoration of the whole 
country; they have confidence in the wisdom of 
his policy and look forward to it as a hope of 

Mr. Blow of the Committee said to General Lee: 
"Suppose that this policy of President Johnson 
should be all that you anticipate and that you should 
realize all that you expect in the improvement of 
your material interests, do you think that the result 
would be gradual restoration of the old feeling?" 

General Lee said: "That would be the natural 
result and I see no other way in which that result 
can be brought about and it would be the surest and 

The greatness of the soul of General Lee was 
shown by his earnest urging of the Southern people 
to accept the result of the war and to stay in the 
South and rebuild it. He did all in his power to 
calm them in every way and the succeeding years 
have proven how much he had won the heart of the 
South and the whole country as well for his wisdom 
in peace as they had loved him for his bravery in war. 

General Lee had the faith of a crusader. He 
prayed for his men and also for his enemies in arms. 
He was always the gentle Christian, and is it any 
wonder that men would follow him into the jaws of 

Robert Edward Lee was descended from Lionel 
Lee who crossed the English Channel with William 
the Conqueror, and another ancestor fought with 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 203 

Richard the Lion-hearted at Acre in the Third Cru- 
sade. His first American ancestor was a great 
Virginian and had much influence in the Virginia 
colony; his grandson, Henry Lee, was the grand- 
father of "Lighthorse Harry" Lee who was a soldier 
of the American Revolution and the father of Robert 
E. Lee. 

General Lee was with General Scott in Mexico 
in the Mexican War and he said of him: "My suc- 
cess was largely due to the skill, valor and undaunted 
courage of Capt. Robert E. Lee, and Lee is the 
greatest military genius in America and the best 
soldier that I ever saw in the field. He will some 
day show himself the foremost captain of his time." 
How true this prophecy. Is it any wonder that Mr. 
Lincoln sent Mr. Francis P. Blair to General Lee, 
who was stopping with him in his home on Pennsyl- 
vania Avenue, Washington, D. C, just across the 
street from the White House and offered him com- 
mand of the Union forces in the Civil War? Robert 
E. Lee declined and cast his lot with Virginia, sending 
the message to President Lincoln: "I am a citizen of 
Virginia, and all her laws and acts are binding on me." 

These were General Lee's first words expressing 
his feelings at the beginning of the war, and his last 
words to his officers when he felt he was forced to 
surrender were: "I could wish I had fallen in the 
last battle," and turning to General John B. Gordon, 
"but it is our duty to live, for what will become of the 
women and children of the South if we are not here 
to protect and support them." 


General Gordon told me that when the Anti-Ku 
Klux law was passed in Tennessee that he and Gen- 
eral Forrest went to Virginia and asked General 
Lee if they should disband and he said: "The women 
and children must be protected," and turning with 
eyes full of tears towards them urged them that they 
strengthen the Ku Klux Klan and drive the desper- 
adoes who were committing crimes in their name 
from southern soil. 

He assured them that he did not believe that his 
brave soldiers would stoop to such deeds as they were 
accused of as Ku Klux. He told them he had faith 
in their power to save the South to the Union, but he 
did not live to see all of this accomplished, but his 
beloved Virginia was readmitted before he died. 

General Gordon told me that General Forrest 
hoped General Lee would join the Ku Klux Klan, but 
he said: "I am still an unpardoned prisoner," and 
turning away he knelt and prayed for the redemption 
of the South. 

General Lee said to them that he had been suffer- 
ing with rheumatism of the heart since 1863 and 
that he would not last very long, but he was not 
stricken until September 28, 1870. While at his 
breakfast table as he stood and said grace he col- 
lapsed and was carried to his bed from which he never 
rallied, dying at 9 o'clock October 12, 1870, fighting 
to the last, in his dying hour for his beloved South, 
his last words being: "Tell Hill he must come up." 
This order in his dying words was the same he sent 
to General A. P. Hill at one of the battles. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 205 

"No section of the country suffered in the Civil 
War as did the Valley of the Shenandoah except 
from Alexandria to the Rapidan," was said by 
Charles Douglas Gray of Augusta County, Vir- 
ginia, to the Reconstruction Committee at Wash- 
ington in 1866. 

"From Harper's Ferry to New Market, 80 miles, 
it was a complete desert — no fences; barns, and 
dwellings burned — chimneys standing without houses 
and houses without chimneys; bridges all gone and 
roads destroyed; all fruit trees and timber ruined 
and only the blue sky and the impoverished ground 
was left to show where once had been the finest civili- 
zation the world had ever known." 

When Mr. Gray was asked by a member of the 
Committee what they would do when they planted 
wheat to keep the stock out of the fields he replied 
that General Sheridan had not left any stock to get 
in the fields nor any implements with which to plant 
the wheat. Mr. Gray said that the people of his 
county were for the Union until State pride 
made them give it up; and that it was a Scotch- 
Irish population and when their blood was heated 
there was not a more tenacious people in the world. 

They were the last to go into the war and they 
were the last to give it up. He was asked if he 
thought the secessionists would take up arms for the 
United States if it should have a contest with Eng- 
land or France. He replied: "The Secessionists 
hate England for not recognizing the Confederacy; 
and the Southern people were more dissatisfied 


with England's course towards them than the United 
States were with her course toward them, — they hate 
England for her duplicity in not helping them, and 
in a war with England they would stand by the 
United States Government." 

When Mr. Gray was asked about the negro, he 
said: "The negroes are in a very unsettled, restless 
condition and should be put to work. They have no 
idea of the expense of living." 

When asked if the negro was susceptible to re- 
ligion, he said: "He prefers the emotional kind, the 
Methodist and Baptist," and that he was supersti- 
tious, but not more so than some white people he had 
known everywhere. 

In regard to Lincoln's policy of reconstruction, 
Harpers Weekly Nov. 10, 1866, said: "It is worth- 
while to understand what President Lincoln's policy 
would have been, for whatever his action during the 
war, he died before he could develop a policy of res- 

The Honorable Chas. A. Dana, Asst. Sec'y of 
War during the latter part of Lincoln's administra- 
tion, made a most important statement in a speech at 
the time of President Lincoln's death, showing pre- 
cisely what Mr. Lincoln's opinion was: "I can af- 
firm that previous to the assassination of Mr. Lincoln 
the reconstruction of Virginia was considered by the 
Cabinet, and a printed document was prepared set- 
ting forth the plan of reconstruction to be adopted 
in regard to that state. 

"That printed document never became official, but 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 207 

it met the hearty approval of Mr. Lincoln. That 
plan of reconstruction provided for the calling of a 
Convention to amend the Constitution of the State 
of Virginia, and stated most positively that all loyal 
citizens whether white or black, should be allowed 
to vote, and it further stipulated that rebels should 
be denied the right of suffrage." That was Mr. Lin- 
coln's idea of reconstruction. 

In 1866 Thomas M. Cook testified before the Re- 
construction Committee at Washington and gave an 
account of the order issued by President Lincoln 
to General Weitzel to call the Legislature of Virginia 
together to reconsider her readmission into the Union 
when requested to do so by Judge John A. Campbell 
of Virginia. President Lincoln said to Judge Camp- 
bell: "I consider it extremely important that the 
body which attempted to take the State out of the 
Union should repair the damage done." 

The next day President Lincoln wrote General 
Weitzel a note while he was still in Virginia author- 
izing him to call the Legislature of Virginia together 
and General Weitzel issued the call and the people of 
Virginia were rejoiced believing they would soon 
be at home in the Union. But they were to meet 
with bitter disappointment for Mr. Lincoln returned 
to Washington and immediately wired General Weit- 
zel to cancel the order for the assembling of the Legis- 
lature and ordering General Weitzel to collect all the 
papers he had given Judge Campbell outlining the 
plan for taking Virginia back into the Union and 
suppress them. 


This act has been considered by Southern men as 
a most powerful argument that President Lincoln 
had changed his mind in regard to any just plan of 
readmitting the Southern states, and led to the hor- 
rors of subsequent reconstruction. 

Mr. Cook who was the correspondent for the New 
York Herald said he saw the plan offered by Presi- 
dent Lincoln to Judge Campbell and that it was very 
Lincolnish and was as follows: "Three things are 
essential to peace: First, complete disbandment 
of all forces in hostility to the United States; Sec- 
ond, a full recognition of the authority of the gov- 
ernment of the United States throughout all the ter- 
ritory in which that authority had been resisted; 
and, Third, no recession by the Executive from his 
position on the question of Emancipation as pro- 
claimed in his message to Congress and in other 

Had this plan been carried out by President 
Lincoln the South would not have been a victim of 
his want of decision, by the horrors of reconstruction. 

General U. S. Grant laid the blame for President 
Lincoln's recalling the order to General Weitzel at 
the door of Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, but 
however that may be it was a cruel blow to Virginia, 
It was generally believed that Mr. Lincoln favored 
the policy of restoration, and especially of Virginia, 
to the Union with the last possible friction. This 
belief seemed to rest on a sound basis for a while. 

During President Lincoln's visit to Richmond 
immediately upon its occupation by the Federal 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 209 

forces in 1865, he held two or three interviews with 
Judge Campbell, formerly of the Supreme Court 
of the United States and later of the Confederate 
War Office, and with other citizens among them 
Judge Henry W. Thomas who was Lieut. Governor 
of the state. 

The expressions of President Lincoln in these con- 
versations were marked by common sense and the 
vigor of expression characteristic of him. Judge 
Campbell said he told him "he wanted the very legis- 
lature which had been sitting up yonder, pointing to 
the capitol, to come together, and to vote to restore 
Virginia to the Union and recall her soldiers from 
the Confederate Army." 

Judge Thomas said in answer to his suggestion 
that Governor Pierpont be sent down to Rich- 
mond, the President replied that he did not want 
him, adding "the government that took Virginia out 
of the Union should bring her back and is the 
government that alone can effect it. They must 
come here to the very place they went out of the 
Union, to come back, and you people will doubtless 
all return and we shall have old Virginia back again. 
By Jove! I want that old game cock back again." 

Abraham Lincoln said: "We cannot escape his- 
tory," and it is my intention to show that he cannot 
"escape history" made by himself any more than other 
men who have played a part on the stage of life. He 
cannot escape responsibility for the reconstruction 
which was begun by his change of mind in regard 
to the meeting of the Legislature of Virginia. 


He cannot escape responsibility for the Civil War 
— for this the South has been blamed but such is not 
a fact. The fort of Charleston was built by the Fed- 
eral Government, on land belonging to South Caro- 
lina and was held in trust for the defense of Charles- 
ton. The land was ceded to the United States by 
South Carolina for that purpose only. 

When the Confederate States of America formed 
a separate government commissioners were sent to 
Washington to adjust these property rights and ar- 
range for the honorable transfer of the property. 

President Lincoln had been inaugurated and Mr. 
W. H. Seward was his Secretary of War and he re- 
fused to see these commissioners. They then ap- 
pealed to two Justices of the Supreme Court of the 
United States to negotiate for them and Justice 
Nelson appealed to Mr. Seward to refrain from re- 
enforcing Fort Sumpter by force for such "is a 
serious violation of the Constitution.' * This was the 
first of the acts of President Lincoln in disregard 
of the Constitution of the United States for which 
he had no respect whatever, as all his subsequent 
acts will reveal. 

Mr. Seward told Justice Campbell that "the delay 
in evacuating Fort Sumpter was accidental," and 
on the day before this when he gave assurance that 
the garrison would be withdrawn he had sent a man 
to Charleston to see by what means the Fort might 
be not evacuated but reenforced. 

On April 7, 1861, Justice Campbell heard rumors 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 211 

of regarrisoning the Fort and wrote to Mr. Seward 
in regard to this hostile movement. 

Mr. Seward replied to him: "Faith as to Fort 
Sumpter fully kept. Wait and see." Regardless of 
this promise made by his Secretary of War, and in 
opposition to several of his Cabinet Officers, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Army, and of Major Ander- 
son who was commanding Fort Sumpter, President 
Lincoln ordered 26 guns, 2400 men and 11 war ves- 
sels to enter Charleston Harbor to take provisions 
to 60 men. 

On April 12 General G. T. Beauregard expecting 
the fleet to enter the harbor at any minute, sent 
Major Anderson word that he would open fire, and 
when the fleet was in sight of the fort, General Beau- 
regard "fired the shot that was heard around the 
world," as the first War Order had been issued at 
Montgomery, Alabama, April 9, 1861, "Fire on Fort 
Sumpter." President Lincoln immediately called 
for 75,000 troops, which act was unconstitutional, 
for Congress is the only power in our government 
authorized to declare war. The commissioners from 
South Carolina with the hopeful message that Fort 
Sumpter would not be held by the Federal Govern- 
ment were on the same train with President Lincoln's 
representatives who were going to each Governor to 
have him issue the call for these troops. 

The great English historian, Hallam, says: "The 
aggressor in war, that is, he who begins it is not the 
first who uses force, but the first who renders force 


The measures enacted to prevent the extension of 
slavery in the Territory was the first time the State 
of Mississippi had given any consideration to the 
policy of secession, and as early as 1849 held a con- 
vention at Jackson to oppose this plan. Another was 
held in 1851 and the convention resolved to agree 
to the compromise measures of 1850 as a final ad- 
justment of the controversy over slavery. 

In this convention it was resolved that "the union 
was held second only in importance to the rights and 
principles which it was designed to perpetuate," 
and it was said there that the right of secession was 

At this time there was no secession sentiment of 
importance in the State, but in 1852 "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin" was published, and this with other events 
created bitter feeling toward the North, and the elec- 
tion of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency added 
to this feeling. 

The secession cause was led by Mr. L. Q. C. 
Lamar. In 1861 and on January 9, the ordinance of 
secession was adopted by 84 to 15 votes. Jefferson 
Davis was United States Senator from Mississippi 
and on the 12th of January resigned his seat there 



of Georgia, Confederate States Army 
Assistant "Grand Wizard" of the Invisible Empire 

(Courtesy oi "Confederate Veteran.") 

KU KLUX KLA2J, 1865-1877 213 

after endorsing the action of his State on secession 
in a magnificent farewell address. 

The Governor of Mississippi said the call to arms 
has been responded to in Mississippi in a manner un- 
known to modern times, and the call for means to 
support the volunteers is being answered in a way 
to gratify the heart of every patriot. The women 
of the State responded to the call for assistance in 
such a manner as to call for thanks from the Legisla- 
ture. Many persons offered private funds to equip 
the soldiers. Jefferson Davis and Jacob Thompson 
gave $24,000. 

The part played by Mississippi subsequent to this 
is well known, and is not intended to be a part 
of this history, but these points have been given to 
convince the most skeptical reader that although hop- 
ing against hope that she would not be compelled 
to withdraw from the Union, that she gave a good 
account of herself when forced to do so in defense of 
her States rights. 

During the war that followed 47 battles were 
fought on Mississippi soil, the siege of Vicksburg 
lasted 47 days. In 1860 the census gave 79 thousand 
white men of military age while the enlistments of 
the Confederates during the entire war were 78 
thousand ; and, with what determination and bravery 
they resisted the invasion of their state is shown by 
the fact that 25,000 Federal soldiers killed during 
the war lie buried in Mississippi soil. 

Later on in the war the hardships became so great 
in the army that it was not easy to fill the gaps made 


in their ranks on many battlefields, and General For- 
rest issued a call for all males from 15 to 65 to rally 
to his support. He said he would "rob the cradle and 
the grave" in his effort to win the war. The legis- 
lature voted a resolution of thanks and a sword to 
General Forrest when he vowed to press all "skul- 
kers" and "deserters" into the Confederate Army. 

Early in the war salt became a scarcity and specu- 
lators begun selling it for high prices, but the Legis- 
lature came to the rescue and regulated the price. It 
was so scarce that many would evaporate salt water 
and obtain a coarse salt; the dirt under the old 
smoke houses was distilled and used again. 

The war developed many ingenious ways of mak- 
ing the necessities of life. Flour was $75 to $200 
a barrel; sugar $2 a pound; coffee $5 a pound; salt 
$45 a bushel; men's shoes $30 a pair; women's shoes 
$50 to $75 a pair ; cotton goods $30 per yard ; water- 
melons $25 a piece, and mules $700. 

After the invasion of Mississippi many of the citi- 
zens refugeed to other states and left many of their 
slaves who were unwilling to go, and they wandered 
into the Federal Camps where thousands of them 
were fed by the United States Government and this 
was the first cause of their being lazy and shiftless; 
and one of the Federal Officers, General Lorenzo 
Thomas, told them they must work or starve and that 
the men who were telling them they were to be given 
the land that belonged to the white people had lied 
to them. 

Had others told them the truth a different story 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 215 

could be told of the years of reconstruction, however, 
many of the best class of negroes did not leave their 
masters and continued with their work as was proven 
by the amount of cotton grown in Mississippi and 
other states. 

As soon as the surrender of the Confederate Army 
was completed the United States Government had 
the idea that surrender meant the giving up of all 
their cherished sentiments and all their rights, public 
and private, and on this ground began the gigantic 
struggle known as reconstruction and was continued 
for more than eleven years until the Ku Klux Klan 
reconstructed for themselves and came back into the 

The history of the country from 1865 to 1877 will 
show positively that the Ku Klux Klan restored 
these states to the Union when the United States 
Government intended to keep them out. More than 
a year before the reconstruction investigation com- 
menced the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the 
United States had declared the war at an end. 

The chief executive of the United States had 
recognized the government of seceding states as legal 
and many of the men engaged in the war received 
executive pardon, but Congress ignored all of these 
facts and proceeded to dissolve the Union. Every 
form of deviltry that the mind of man could conceive 
was invented and charged against the people and it 
is well to note that as this injustice increased the or- 
ganization known as the Ku Klux Klan rose in power. 

I wish to call the reader's special attention to the 


fact that the Ku Klux Klan was not even thought 
of by its founders until December 24, 1865, and then 
note carefully the condition of Mississippi (which 
is typical of all of the Southern States) at the date, 
November 20, 1865, when Benjamin G. Humphreys, 
Governor of Mississippi, in his message to the Gen- 
eral Assembly said: "What are the evils that have 
already arisen against which we are to guard the 
negro and the State? 

"The answer is patent to all — vagrancy and pau- 
perism, and their inevitable concomitant, crime and 
misery, hovering like a dark pall over a once pros- 
perous and happy but now desolated land. To the 
guardian care of the Freedmen's Bureau has been 
entrusted the emancipated slaves. Look around you 
and see the results! 

"Our rich and productive fields have been deserted 
by them for filthy garrets and sickly towns. From 
producers they have been converted into consum- 
ers, and as winter approaches their only salvation 
from starvation is Federal rations and pillage and 

"Four years of cruel war conducted on principles 
of vandalism disgraceful to the civilization of the 
age was scarcely more blighting and destructive to 
the homes of the white man, and impoverishing and 
degrading to the negro than the result in the last six 
or eight months from the administration of this black 
incubus. How long will this hideous curse be 
allowed to ruin our people? 

"Tax the Freedmen for the support of the helpless 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 217 

Freedmen, and then with an iron will and a strong 
hand of power take hold of the idler and the vagrant 
and force him to some profitable employment for 
the support of his family and the education of his 
children, by laws assuring him of our friendship and 

Governor Humphreys said that by the emancipa^ 
tion of over 300,000 slaves in Mississippi it imposed 
upon her a problem of vast magnitude the proper 
solution of which depended the hope and future 
prosperity of ourselves and our children. 

Governor Humphreys was not the regular nom- 
inee for civil governor of Mississippi in 1865 but was 
elected by his comrades in arms who by this act indi- 
cated that Confederate soldiers were preferred over 
those who did not fight for the State. 

In his own words, when elected, "I am yet an un- 
pardoned rebel. I have taken the amnesty oath and 
forwarded an application for special pardon, and am 
desirous of renewing my allegiance to the United 
States Government." President Johnson sent Gen- 
eral Humphreys a pardon on October the first, and 
he was inaugurated on Oct. 16, but for some time he 
was denied recognition by the United States as 

General J. Z. George, Brigadier General in the 
Confederate States Army and a brilliant lawyer was 
appointed by General Forrest as Grand Dragon of 
the Ku Klux Klan, of the Realm of Mississippi, and 
from that time on he was her great leader and in 1875 
redeemed this state from radical and negro rule, 


but not until this grand old state had suffered the 
humiliation of having two negro senators in the 
United States Senate and fifteen or twenty other 
negro officials, state and national. 

General George, afterwards Senator from Missis- 
sippi, by his contructive statesmanship in devising 
means to safeguard Southern civilization by the elimi- 
nation of the negro vote, will cause his name to shine 
for all time as a great constitutional lawyer and bene- 
factor of the South. It was under his leadership that 
Mississippi led in disfranchising the negro and prac- 
tically every Southern state has followed this plan. 

After General George had redeemed Mississippi 
from "carpet-bag rule" he went to South Carolina 
and assisted General William H. Wallace in con- 
ducting the Ku Klux Klan until that State was also 
raised from her ashes and reinstated into the Union. 

General George recommended to the men in South 
Carolina to impress the negroes both as to the 
strength and purpose of the whites in their determin- 
ation to redeem the state by using a spectacular uni- 
form different from the Ku Klux Klan and urged a 
parade of long processions of armed white men 
through the country. This plan was accepted and 
from this was founded the "Red Shirts of South 
Carolina" as their regalia was trimmed in red imitat- 
ing blood stains. 

Col. George W. Croft took up the scheme sug- 
gested by Gen. George and gave orders for the nec- 
essary yellow home-spun to make the gruesome 
regalia. The cloth was distributed one afternoon 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 219 

among the ladies of the country and they were in- 
structed to make them appear as large as Goliath of 
Gath would have worn. 

These large shirts were turned into a flag with 
arms stretched over a cross piece and dough faces 
with kinky chignons were fastened to the top of this 
cross so as to make a grinning negro head from either 
side. Satan's appeal to the fallen angels was em- 
blazoned in large black letters on either side: 
"Awake, arise, or be forever fallen." 

In regard to falsehoods about Mississippi Ku Klux 
Klan outrages stated by H. B. Whitfield, Mr. 
Mathew Clay, of Brooksville, Miss., sent a sworn 
affidavit to the Committee of Congress saying: "I 
met Mr. Whitfield on the train as he was going to 
Washington and I asked him about the attack of the 
negroes on a Mr. Bridges of Bigby Valley, Noxubee 
County, Mississippi. 

"I told him in substance, if he was going before the 
Washington Ku Klux Committee he ought to state 
the affair in which some armed negroes attacked Mr. 
Bridges at night; that I thought it ought to be 
shown that lawlessness existed among the negroes, 
or, in other words, all the so-called Ku Klux out- 
rages did not originate among the white people of the 
South, but with the blacks who are not Ku Klux. 

"Mr. Clay said that Mr. Whitfield misrepresented 
him in his testimony and that he received a letter from 
him in which he said he misrepresented him, and is 
willing to put it in writing, which he did." 



During the Civil War the "Bonny Blue Flag" was 
first sung in a local theatre in Mississippi for General 
Nathan B. Forrest when he was assisting the people 
of Mississippi to recruit the Confederate States 


In 1865 the Confederacy had fallen and Jefferson 
Davis had been made a prisoner on Georgia soil. 
He was taken away, was confined, and chains riveted 
upon him; was placed in prison and kept there two 
years without trial or bail. 

There was a complete collapse financially of the 
State of Georgia from the Tennessee line to Savan- 
nah, Ga., covering Sherman's March to the Sea. He 
destroyed everything in his pathway for a region 
twenty miles wide. Everything was destroyed, 
schools, homes, crops, farming implements, railroads 
and even the lunatics and deaf and dumb were turned 
out without shelter. 

Women and small girls were criminally assaulted 
by Sherman's army; cities were burned; Atlanta 
lay completely in ashes, but the devotion of the 
people to each other through all these misfortunes has 
no parallel in history. Persecution only endeared 
them to each other. 

The population of Georgia in 1860 was 591,550 
and the state furnished to the Confederate army 
120,000 soldiers and the entire people pledged their 
lives and fortunes in support of the Southern cause. 



When the war was over and they wished again to 
claim all rights they had at the beginning of the war 
it was denied them. 

The governor was arrested by soldiers and lodged 
in prison, but later Georgia was readmitted to the 
Union and then denied the privilege because she 
refused to give the negro the vote and she was again 
made a part of the "Military District" which 
included Alabama and Florida and others. 

The Freedmen's Bureau established in Georgia 
began to sow seeds of mistrust between the negroes 
and their former owners and this accounts for the 
hostility which ensued between the races and made 
the organization of the Ku Klux Klan a necessity and 
led that state to become one of the "Solid South" 
against the Republican party. 

General Gordon stated at Washington in the Ku 
Klux Klan investigations, "That the Union League 
and Carpet-baggers were organizing the negroes and 
we were afraid to have a public organization because 
we supposed it would be construed at once by the 
authorities of Washington as an organization antago- 
nistic to the Government of the United States. 

"It was therefore necessary in order to protect our 
families from outrage and preserve our own lives, to 
have something that we could regard as a brother- 
hood — a combination of the best men of the country 
to act purely in self defense, to repel the attack in 
case we should be attacked by these people; mainly 
confined to soldiers of the Confederate States Army, 
men who had shown themselves plucky and ready for 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 223 

any emergency, and who were accustomed to 

"We never had any apprehension from the conduct 
of the negroes until unscrupulous men came among 
them and tried to stir up strife. But for such men we 
never would have had any trouble with the negro and 
would not have any now. We can get along forever 
with the negro, loving him and having him love us, 
if you will take away these Carpet-baggers. 

"I am willing to swear until I am gray that the 
negroes and the white people can live together in 
Georgia peaceably and happily if they are not inter- 
fered with. 

"The feeling of resentment against the reconstruc- 
tion policy of Congress was intensified by the admis- 
sion of the State of Georgia to the Union with the 
Constitution upon which the people refused to vote." 

These words were spoken to the Committee Inves- 
tigating the Condition of Affairs in the Insurrec- 
tionary States by General Gordon, and it is said in 
the report of the committee "that the feelings of the 
people of the South at the close of the War between 
the States, and the successive phases through which 
they have passed since then are so candidly stated by 
General John B. Gordon of Georgia that he may be 
fairly quoted as representing them in all of the 
Southern States, and that his opinion is of the highest 
value, and is especially so when it is remembered that 
he became the Commander of Stonewall Jackson's 
Corps at his death and at the surrender was in the 
command of the left wing of Lee's Army. That he 


was Governor of Georgia and not under disabilities. 
General Gordon said: "I know that the general 
feeling of the North is that our people are hostile 
toward the Government of the United States. 

"Upon that point I wish to testify; I want to state 
what I know upon that subject. I know very well 
that if the program which our people saw set on foot 
at Appomattox Court House when Lee surrendered 
had been carried out — if our people had been met in 
the spirit which we believe existed there among the 
officers and soldiers from General Grant down we 
would have had no further disturbance in the South. 
There is no question about that. 

"But to say to our people, 'You are unworthy to 
vote ; you cannot hold office ; we are unwilling to trust 
you; you are not honest men; your former slaves are 
better fitted to administer the laws than you are' — 
this sort of dealing with our people has emphatically 
alienated us. 

"The burning of Atlanta and all the devastation 
throughout the South never created a tithe of the 
animosity that has been created by this sort of treat- 
ment of our people. 

"The feeling is that you have denied that we will 
abide by our plighted faith. 

"We do not think we have done anything in the 
dark. We think that when we tried to secede from 
the Union we did it boldly, fairly and squarely, stak- 
ing our lives on the issue. We thought we were right. 
I am one who thought at the time that we had a 
perfect right to do what we did. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 225 

"Our people were conscientious when they took the 
obligation at Appomattox and elsewhere after Lee's 
surrender, and we would have long since had a very 
different state of things if the Government had kept 
their part of the contract contained in our parole. I 
believe that as firmly as I believe in my existence. 

"I know it was generally felt that there was shown 
toward the officers and men who surrendered at Ap- 
pomattox Court House a degree of courtesy and even 
deference which was surprising and gratifying — and 
which produced at the time a very fine effect. 

"Whether right or wrong, it is the impression of 
the Southern mind — it is the conviction of my own 
mind, in which I am perfectly sincere and honest that 
we have not been met in the proper spirit. 

"We believe that if our people had been treated in 
the spirit which we thought was manifested at Ap- 
pomattox — a spirit which implied that there had been 
a conflict of theories, an honest difference of opinion 
as to our rights under the General Government — a 
difference upon which the South had adopted one con- 
struction, and the North another, both parties having 
vindicated their sincerity upon the field in a contest 
which now had been fought out was to be forgotten 
— if this had been the spirit there would have been no 

"We felt as honest men that we should be trusted 
and we thought that ought to be the last of it. That 
was the way that we felt at the South, by the course 
that has been pursued toward us, since the surrender 


we have been disappointed and the alienation has thus 
been increased. " 

General Gordon referred to a speech he made in 
Montgomery, Alabama, in which he spoke of the 
behavior of the negroes during the war when left to 
protect the women and children; when all the male 
population were away fighting and large plantations 
were left to be managed by the women not a single 
insurrection had occurred, not a life had been taken, 
not a criminal assault had been made upon any white 
woman by the negroes, although the Federal Army 
was inciting them to turn against their masters, and 
the helpless women and children. 

This handsome behavior of the negroes was also 
praised at this time by General James H. Clanton, 
of Alabama, and in reward for it we both said the 
Southern people owed it to the negroes to educate 
them and give them a chance to rise within the con- 
fines of their race. Many negroes heard both 
speeches and came forward and thanked us. 

The entire heart of Georgia and the South appre- 
ciates the conduct of the negroes during the war. 

General John B. Gordon was elected United 
States Senator from Georgia by the General As- 
sembly, and it was a signal victory for him, as his 
competitor was the most popular man of the state — 
Honorable Alexander Stephens, who was an idol of 
the people during a long career of service; he was 
elected Senator after the Civil War, but was not ad- 
mitted. General Gordon however received that 
great honor, and the whole South was pleased for 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 227 

he won his way to undying fame on the battle-fields 
and was the embodiment of chivalry and patriotism. 
Senator Gordon became a national figure in states- 
manship, and fulfilled his trust brilliantly. 

The "Gallant Gordon's'' military career being so 
closely identified as it is with that of General Robert 
E. Lee and therefore well known it is unnecessary 
to describe it. He was one of the generals who made 
the last stand for the Confederacy, and when he re- 
ceived a message from General Lee on Apr. 9, 1865, 
at daylight to know what chance he stood to attack the 
Federals successfully, replied to General Lee, "My 
old corps is reduced to a frazzle, and unless General 
Longstreet can reach me at once, I can do nothing 

General Lee said, "I have nothing left but to see 
General Grant." Colonel Venable who had brought 
this message from General Gordon said to General 
Lee, "O General what will history say about our sur- 
render in the field?" 

General Lee replied, "I know they will say harsh 
things of us ; but they do not know how we are over- 
whelmed by numbers; that is not the question; the 
question is, is it right for me to surrender this army? 
If it is right I will take all responsibility." These 
words are considered the greatest utterance of Gen- 
eral Robert E. Lee, and showed the noble spirit of 
the most beloved chieftain of all history. 

General John B. Gordon was well known to me, 
and many times described this incident. After the 
surrender, which took place on that day, General Gor- 


don returned to Georgia, and became one of its most 
honored citizens in peace as well as a valiant soldier in 
war. In appearance he was every inch a soldier, and 
retained his magnificent bearing until his death. Gen- 
eral John B. Gordon was visiting Athens, Alabama, 
in the Fall of Sixty-six, and became fascinated with 
the movements of the Ku Klux Klan. He returned 
to Georgia, and in the early part of the following year 
organized Ku Klux Klans in that State, and attended 
the convention of the Ku Klux Klan at Nashville in 
1867. He was there appointed by General Nathan 
B. Forrest, who was "Grand Wizard of the Invisible 
Empire," to be Grand Dragon of the Realm of 

General Gordon had a brother living at Athens, 
Alabama, during the Seventies and he frequently 
came there to meet General Forrest and to go to 
Pulaski, the headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan, for 
information. This brother, Major Eugene C. Gor- 
don, was chaplain of the Limestone County division 
of the Ku Klux Klan. He was a Baptist minister, 
and Mr. Austin W. Smith, a Methodist minister, was 
chaplain before Major Gordon came to Athens. 

On one occasion General Gordon came hurriedly 
to Athens to confer with the Ku Klux Klans, there 
and at Pulaski, for a rumor had reached him from 
Florida that a woman "carpet-bagger" had come 
there and was making herself very obnoxious by 
entertaining negroes in her home, and otherwise as- 
sociating on intimate terms with them, and that there 
was great excitement in the Southern part of Georgia 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 229 

because it was said she was coming into that State. 

He said he went to see who the woman was who 
was creating so much ill feeling in South Georgia and 
Florida, and found that it was Mrs. Harriet Beecher 
St owe who had inflamed the world against the South 
by her iniquitous novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" which 
President Lincoln said caused him to call for troops 
and declare war on the South. 

General Gordon said he had been told that Mrs. 
Stowe had with her a wounded son who was a Federal 
soldier and had almost lost his reason, and that there 
should not be a blot on the South by having her or any 
other woman, who came within its borders, molested. 

He said he was informed that the spurious Ku 
Klux Klan imitating the real Ku Klux Klan had de- 
termined to drive her from the State by taking her 
and her sick son on board a vessel for parts unknown, 
and the Ku Klux Klan from the headquarters in 
Pulaski sent a number of Ku Klux commanded by 
Captain John C. Lester and he was joined at Mont- 
gomery, Alabama, by General Jas. H. Clanton who 
was Grand Dragon of the Realm of Alabama, and 
they proceeded to Florida, and surrounded Mrs. 
Stowe's plantation on which she was attempting to 
raise cotton with free negro labor, and eventually 
arrested the spurious Ku Klux Klan and from that 
time until Mrs. Stowe left the South, she was guarded 
by the gallant Ku Klux Klan, for many threats were 
made to burn her home, and a school house and church 
she built for the negroes were burned, but no harm 
other than this ever came to her. General Gordon 


gave me this information a few years before his 
death, — to illustrate the gallantry and the fulfillment 
of the ideal of the Ku Klux Klan to protect woman- 
hood at all times, although Mrs. Stowe had so un- 
justly brought on the war by her falsehoods in regard 
to the system of slavery as operated in the South. 

General Gordon was appointed by General Na- 
than Bedford Forrest assistant Grand Dragon of the 
Ku Klux Klan, when his health failed; he was the 
leader in the field while General Forrest directed 
the movements from his home. 

General Gordon made many visits to Washington 
in behalf of the South, and his last appeal was to 
President Hayes to remove the troops from South 
Carolina and save bloodshed and disaster which would 
come if the officials elected by the people of South 
Carolina were deprived of their privilege of serving 

General Gordon kept in close touch with the peo- 
ple of the South as Commander-in-chief of the United 
Confederate Veterans, and everywhere he went in 
this capacity he was shown the highest appreciation 
of his superior qualities as a soldier and citizen. 

United Confederate Veterans' organization was 
formed in New Orleans, June 10, 1889. The idea 
for a large and united association came from Col. 
J. F. Shipp, a gallant confederate soldier who was 
at that time commander of Nathan Bedford Forrest 
Camp of confederate veterans of Chattanooga, Ten- 
nessee, the third that was organized. 

Colonel Shipp was in New Orleans on business, 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 231 

and while there suggested the united association, his 
idea being to bring into a general order the State 
camps as one in Virginia, and another in Tennessee 
had been founded. The first meeting was held in 
New Orleans, June 10, 1889, and the United Con- 
federate Veterans was perfected with Mr. F. S. 
Washington of New Orleans, President, and Mr. 
J. H. Chalaron, Sec'y. 

A constitution was adopted, and Lieutenant- 
General John B. Gordon of Georgia was elected 
Commander-in-chief, and served in this capacity until 
his death. 

One of the highest tributes ever paid General Gor- 
don was by Corra Harris, a famous Georgia writer. 
In one of her recent articles in the Saturday Evening 
Post, she wrote that General Gordon said, "should he 
be elected Governor of Georgia, he would kiss all of 
the girls in the state," and one of them which he 
kissed had a ring worm on her cheek proving that he 
was not even afraid of germs. 



The reconstruction of the southern states was a 
"crime against the principles of free government for 
which no adequate punishment is provided by law." 
In this catalogue is to be placed the betrayal of consti- 
tutional liberty in its supreme home and by its espe- 
cial guardians. 

In the words of Zebulon B. Vance: "It was the 
destruction of the flock by the shepherd; the robbing 
of the ward by the guardian; the scandalizing of re- 
ligion by a dissolute priest; the heinousness of such 
offenses consists of an element of faithlessness — a 
betrayal of trust — treachery." 

This is a period in our history which should not be 
forgotten but which deserves to be studied by every 
patriot in the United States. To treat it from the 
Northern standpoint, secession was considered a set- 
tled question as several of the Northern states had 
considered seceding from the Union. 

The Southern states believed they had a right to 
secede from the Union and repealed their ordinances 
by which they had accepted the Constitution of the 
Union, but the Northern states said: "No, you cannot 
do that. 

"Your ordinances of repeal are void; you are still 


KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 233 

in the Union and subject to the Constitution. Your 
attempt to maintain the validity of your ordinances 
by force is simply insurrection and rebellion which 
we are bound by the Constitution to suppress," and 
they began the Civil War and suppressed it, and their 
slogan in the beginning to induce men from the 
Northern states to join the army against the Southern 
states was: "Join the Army and help restore the 

Many northern men were opposed to the coercing 
of Southern states whose soil had been invaded, but 
the popular appeal to restore the Union was the only 
thing that filled up the ranks of the Federal Army. 
When General Robert E. Lee gave up his sword to 
General Ulysses S. Grant everybody supposed that 
the Federal Army had saved the Union. 

Despotic governments exercised confiscation but 
under our government the right of sovereignty over 
any portion of the states is given and limited by the 
Constitution and was supposed to be the same after 
the war as it was before. 

Indeed the moment the rebellion was suppressed 
and the government growing out of it was subverted, 
the ancient laws resumed their accustomed sway sub- 
ject only to the new reorganization by the proper 
appointment of officers to give them operation and 

There were only two ways by which a state could 
withdraw from the Union: — "Legally by virtue of 
their ordinances or by force of arms. As the legality 
was denied and the resort to force was a failure the 


conclusion is unavoidable, that they were in the 
Union, — subject to all the requirements and entitled 
to all the privileges under the Constitution." 

President Johnson immediately after the war ap- 
pointed temporary governors with authority to ap- 
point other officials and directed them to call 
conventions to form new constitutions and recognize 
the state governments in all branches. 

He invited them under their new constitution to 
elect senators and representatives to Congress in 
their former way. North Carolina immediately fol- 
lowed these instructions and was recognized by Presi- 
dent Johnson as a member of the Union. 

"Notwithstanding this fact Congress for purely 
political reasons proceeded to treat all of these states 
as outside of the Union and as alien communities who 
were to be dealt with anew under the laws of conquest 
and admitted to the Union on conditions of its own 

These states were Democratic in politics; and it 
was not desirable to have the Union restored by the 
admission of eleven democratic states — that would 
seriously endanger the power of the Republican 

Congress determined on conditions that would 
strengthen not weaken the Republican party and as 
they could no longer refuse their Representatives in 
Congress their seats, to do this they dissolved the 
Union by an Act of Congress, declaring that they 
were out of the Union. 

They were placed under military rule, civil 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 235 

authority was abolished and every civil magistrate 
displaced by military and "carpet-bag" officials. All 
this was done several years after the war had ended 
without the slightest provocation on the part of the 
Southern states save only that they would vote the 
Democratic ticket. The negroes were invited to vote 
though their suffrage was neither known to state or 
federal law while all other leading citizens were dis- 

In addition to this Senators and Representatives 
were denied admission at the doors of Congress. 
"No fact of history is more notorious. Naturally 
there could be no other than the worst of con- 
sequences attending a procedure thus begun in fraud 
and false pretense, and supported by force. Our 
English-speaking race has not known its like since 
the plunder of Ireland in the Sixteenth Century." 

In the face of these facts is it any wonder that the 
Ku Klux Klan rose in power to rescue their state 
from such a condition which she succeeded in doing 
in 1870 after having suffered every humiliation at 
the hands of the scalawag governor, W. W. Holden, 
the man appointed provisional Governor of North 
Carolina after Governor Zebulon B. Vance had been 
ousted from this office to which he had been legally 

In the words of Zebulon B. Vance: "The people 
of North Carolina submitted with long-suffering pa- 
tience. They were spirit-broken by the results of 
the war — the desolation of their homes and the 
slaughter of their sons. They were worn down to the 


earth by the degradation imposed upon them by the 
negro-equality of the Civil Rights Bill and all the 
racking evils of the times. But a day was coming 
when their ancient spirit was once more to reassert 

The Ku Klux Klan, led by Zebulon B. Vance, 
Grand Dragon of the Realm of North Carolina, suc- 
ceeded in driving from their soil the "carpet-baggers" 
and all other kinds of invaders, and impeached W. W. 
Holden from the office of Governor. 

I will not attempt to describe the causes of im- 
peachment except the misuse of the military, the sus- 
pension of the right of writ of habeas corpus and laws 
passed to suppress the Ku Klux Klan. Some facts 
regarding the falsehoods which were stated before the 
Committee of Congress Investigating Affairs of the 
Late Insurrectionary States, will be given. One 
of the most notorious and most dangerous of these 
false witnesses was one William R. Howie, from 
Chatham County, North Carolina. 

He swore before the Committee to the "Ku Klux- 
ing" of men and women, white and black, because of 
their loyalty; detailed his sufferings on account of his 
political principles; showed how bravely he had re- 
sisted, and how fearlessly he had brought to justice 
the rebel Ku Klux ; he was a rare combination of the 
hero and the martyr. 

Unfortunately for him an old republican, Elias 
Bryant, from his neighborhood, was called to testify 
on other matters, but it leaked out incidentally that 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 237 

he knew all about the outrages to which Howie had 

We quote from his evidence: When asked: "what 
kind of fellow is Howie?" He said: "Mr. Howie 
came to my house about eleven months ago. I looked 
upon him as a gentleman. He said he wanted to 
stay with me three or four days. I let him stay. 
After staying three or four days he paid me up like 
a gentleman. 

"His general character through the country is very 
bad. I am bound to say that. I was told not to trust 
him, and that he was a man of no truth. He left our 
neighborhood about the latter part of April, and went 
to Richmond about the time the Buchanan case came 

"In the Buchanan case, both men and women were 

"There was a house down here kept by an old 
woman, from the North, the mother of a good many 
children. About five years ago she had a black child, 
— after she drove off her husband, a weak, pitiful 
kind of a fellow. 

"She put up a distillery, making about a gallon of 
whiskey at a time. Her visitors are mostly colored 
men. She was a woman of very bad character and 
the character of the girls she had about her were the 

"There was a woman by the name of Godfrey who 
went to live with this woman. I saw her in Raleigh, 
in a wagon with Mr. Howie. She had a little daugh- 
ter about fifteen or sixteen years old, I suppose. 


"She hired her out to a man named Dave Wickers. 
I am told that she is a very nice little girl. Her 
mother went after her to go there to this woman's 
house. The little girl refused to go and Wickers re- 
fused to give her up. 

"The whole trouble grew out of this woman want- 
ing to take that child to this old woman's house and 
the man refusing to give her up." (The Ku Klux 
rescued the girl.) 

These are the sort of men upon whose testimony, 
or rather on whose statements of what they profess 
to have heard, Congress is expected to hold eleven 
states and nearly ten millions of people under the 
provisions of the Ku Klux bill, at the mercy of 
President Grant and his subordinates, when he was 
a candidate for re-election. 

The whippings paraded by Howie, to avenge which 
he was put in command of United States troops, by 
whose aid he filled the jail in Raleigh with his ene- 
mies, or those he desired to prosecute in order to 
ingratiate himself with the Federal authorities, were 
such as any honest people would have inflicted under 
similar circumstances. 

No man can read the evidence of Elias Bryant, 
without feeling that Howie and his prostitutes, in try- 
ing to force the unfortunate daughter of one of these 
hags into such a den of infamy as Bryant describes, 
to be the victim of the lust of Howie and his brutal 
associates, white and black, ought to have been 

And if Colonel Schaffer had repeated the dose 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 239 

when Howie, with "Old Sal," the "two girls, and the 
Godfrey woman" appeared before him, instead of 
prostituting his office and the Army of the United 
States to imprison the men who had rescued the inno- 
cent girl from the fate to which the brutes sought to 
consign her, would have elevated himself in the esti- 
mation of all honest men, even if he had been dis- 
missed by the authorities at Washington for allowing 
the opportunity to escape, to raise the cry of Ku 
Klux, and malign the character of the people of 
North Carolina. 

Unfortunately for the country, just such men as 
Howie have been the trusted agents of the United 
States in all these persecutions; and the whole ma- 
chinery of the courts and the military has been run 
with an eye single to making political capital for the 
radical party, and to put money into the pockets of 
the tools used for that purpose. 

A radical judge dismissed from the bar a leading 
member of it because he wrote a letter to a member 
of this committee stating facts which it was important 
for the committee to know; of course the Supreme 
Court reinstated him. 

The Sehoffner Act, by which the governor of the 
state was authorized to declare any county in the 
state to be in insurrection, and was given power to 
proclaim martial law, to arrest summarily and try 
by a drum-head court all accused persons, and to 
enable him to carry out this Act he was allowed to 
raise regiments of soldiers, caused the growth of the 
Ku Klux Klan. 


One of these regiments was composed of negroes 
and the others of deserters, renegades and cut- 
throats. This vile assortment of men went to Raleigh 
to be armed and equipped. The dignity of North 
Carolina and the pride of her people rose with one 
accord to resist these desperadoes and the Ku Klux 
Klan, which had already been organized, was given 
great impetus in 1870 and was rapidly increased to 
meet the oncoming of these men who wished to fur- 
ther degrade the great "Old North State." 

It was with the greatest difficulty that the older 
and more prudent men could restrain the Ku Klux 
Klan, and fortunately for this situation an election 
for Attorney General and the Legislature was soon 
to be held in August 1870, at this time. 

Troops were stationed at all points to intimidate 
the voters and though Governor Holden had the sup- 
port of President Grant the people went to the polls 
determined to redeem their state, which they did, as 
they were led by the Ku Klux Klan of North Caro- 
lina assisted by General Forrest and others of the 
"Invisible Empire." 

The Legislature was largely Democratic, and it 
proceeded promptly to repeal all obnoxious legisla- 
tion — including the issue of bonds, the SchofTner Act 
— and then impeached Governor Holden. 

The Ku Klux Klan accomplished what they had 
planned to do, and proceeded to South Carolina to 
try and improve the conditions in that state. 

The following letter is contained in the public rec- 
ords of Congress pertaining to the Amnesty of Jef- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 241 

ferson Davis and speaks for itself as to the treatment 
accorded Governor Holden by the Ku Klux Klan 
for trying to arrest them instead of the spurious Ku 
Klux Klan and for suggesting to President Grant to 
have Congress enact the Federal Anti-Ku Klux 

Mr. W. W. Holden, of Raleigh, N. C, said in 
regard to the Amnesty proposition for Jefferson 
Davis pending in the House of Representatives in a 
letter to Mr. Blaine of that Congress : 

"In 1870 I was impeached and removed from office 
as governor of this state solely because of a move- 
ment which I put on foot according to the Constitu- 
tion and the law to suppress the bloody Ku Klux 
Klan. This was done by the Democrats of this state, 
the allies and the echoes of Northern Democrats. 

"I was also disqualified by the judgment of re- 
moval from holding office in this state. The Demo- 
cratic Legislature of this State and its late Constitu- 
tional Convention were appealed to in vain by my 
friends to remove this disability. 

"The late convention, in which the Democrats had 
one majority by fraud, refused by a strict party vote 
to remove my disabilities thus imposed; and I am 
now the only man in North Carolina who cannot hold 

"I think these facts should be borne in mind when 
the Democrats in Congress clamor for relief for the 
late insurgent leaders." 

Judge Albion Tourgee, who was a carpet-bag 
Judge in North Carolina, said in a book he wrote, "A 


Fool's Errand," about the Ku Klux Klan: "It was 
a daring conception for a conquered people. Only a 
race of warlike instincts and regal pride could have 
conceived and executed it. It was a magnificent con- 
ception, and, in a sense, deserved success. It differed 
from all other attempts at revolution in the face of 
the enemy, an enemy of overwhelming strength. 
Should it succeed, it would be one of the most brilliant 
revolutions ever accomplished. Should it fail — well, 
those engaged in it felt that they had nothing else to 

This is, indeed, a tribute to the Ku Klux Klan, as 
it came from the enemy and one who claimed that he 
had narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Ku 
Klux Klan, and is significant. 

A Prominent Citizen of North Carolina Called 
to Testify Before the Ku Klux Investigating 
Committee Defended the Ku Klux as Fol- 

Washington, D. C, July 28, 1871. 
Haywood W. Guion; (Mecklenburg, N. C.) 

Called as witness by Mr. Blair, stated that he was 
then residing in Charlotte, N. C, and that he was 
born in the Eastern part of the state at Newbern. 
He said he was a lawyer, and had never held any 
public position. 

Mr. Blair: "Answer generally whether the laws are 
executed in your state, the laws against crimes espe- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 243 

Mr. Guion: "Well, they are generally executed, the 
fault is in the judiciary, if anywhere." 

Question: "They are perfectly safe in your state." 

Answer: "Yes, sir, that is in some places there are 
outbreaks, but this danger to property is from the 
Loyal League — the burning of barns, the destruc- 
tion of cattle, horses and mules." 

Question: "Who compose the Loyal League?" 

Answer: "I believe they are negroes and low white 
people. I am pained to say that in our state the 
judiciary system is a farce." 

Question: "Does this opinion disincline the people 
to refer their differences to the judiciary?" 

Answer: "It inclines them in many cases to take the 
law into their own hands; that is the law of nature. 
A man will seek his own defense if he cannot get it 
any other way." 

Question: "Are there any other organizations than 
the Loyal League?" 

Answer: "As to the Ku Klux organization, I did 
not know of it until the trials before the judges at 
Raleigh last summer. And, the opinion that the 
troubles arise from the incompetency of the judiciary 
department is somewhat substantiated there by the 
evidence because Judge Tourgee, in whom there is 
very little confidence, is judge there. He is a for- 
eigner, and thought to be a corrupt man." 

Question: "Is it alleged and do you believe that this 
organization (the Ku Klux Klan), has originated 
there by reason of his incompetency?" 

Answer: "Yes, sir, on account of his partiality in 


punishing criminals, and in not sustaining the law as 
he should." 

Question: "And that is the ground upon which the 
organization known as the Ku Klux Klan justifies 

Answer: "That is the only ground." 

Question: "If you are at the head of it, it is a very 
harmless Ku Klux Klan?" 

Answer: "Very harmless" 

Question: "You say there is a great deal of burning 
of barns and killing of cattle, that is done princi- 
pally by negroes?" 

Answer: "Yes, sir, altogether I believe." 

Question: "For what purpose?" 

Answer: "The story we get is that the instructions 
to them come from Raleigh where the head of the 
Loyal League is. I believe if there had been no 
Loyal League in North Carolina, there would have 
been no Ku Klux Klan or clubbing together of white 
people there." 

Question : "You believe that one gave cause for the 
origin of the other?" 

Answer: "I have no doubt of it." 


The great State of Texas was separated from the 
United States by an ordinance of secession in a con- 
vention of the people on the first day of February 
1861 and became one of the Confederate States of 
America. She furnished many thousands of troops 
to the Confederate army and did her full duty in 
that great struggle. But at the close of the war she 
was in a much better condition financially than any 
of the other Southern states as there had been very 
few invading troops on her soil and her citizens who 
were not in the army could continue to raise cotton 
and other necessities. Her population had been 
greatly increased by the number of people who went 
there as refugees from the other devastated states but 
this prosperous condition was to be the cause of her 
suffering equally if not more so from the "carpet- 
baggers" and thieves who went there as it was a land 
"flowing with milk and honey." "They did not send 
anyone to see but came themselves, and their name 
was legion." 

Texas passed through the same sufferings of re- 
construction but she more readily recovered from it 
for in being annexed to the United States she re- 
served her public domain and a large portion of this 



was set apart for the maintenance of free schools and 
she more quickly begun to educate her children, both 
black and white after the war. The white people of 
Texas believed that the best remedy which might flow 
from universal suffrage was universal education, 
and with this in mind they thought it proper to give 
the negroes the advantage of a common school educa- 
tion as it would assist them to discharge the duties 
devolving upon them as American citizens. There 
was always a pleasant relationship between the 
negroes and whites of Texas and only in a few in- 
stances was there any conflict between the races. The 
military stationed there during reconstruction com- 
mitted many more depredations and outrages than 
were committed by either white or black natives. 

Governor Throckmorton, who was the Governor of 
Texas, at that time, applied to General Sheridan to 
send troops to the frontier to protect the people from 
the depredations of Indians and General Sheridan 
refused because the Governor had declined to pardon 
a criminal whom General Sheridan had asked him 
to pardon and in reply to his request for soldiers, 
General Sheridan said, "that he believed him to be 
an impediment to the reconstruction of Texas under 
the law," and further said: "There were more cas- 
ualties occurring from outrages perpetrated upon 
Union men and f reedmen in the interior of this state 
than occurs from Indian depredations upon the fron- 
tier." Governor Throckmorton replied to this state- 
ment made by General Sheridan, and said: "General, 
this is truly a shocking statement, and I exceedingly 

KU KLUX KLAJf, 1865-1877 247 

regret that you have been so unfavorably impressed 
with the general character of the people of Texas, 
and that your information should be so incorrect. 
I am ' frank to admit that many violations of law 
occur in the interior of Texas; but that these things 
are the result of rebellious sentiment among the peo- 
ple, or that the outrages committed in consequence 
of this rebellious feeling are far in excess of the In- 
dian depredations upon the frontier, I must solemnly 
and emphatically deny. You have heard one side of 
the story. Perhaps if the people or authorities of 
Texas had been as persistent and mendacious in their 
version of these affairs to you and your officers, as 
have been the howling crowd of canting, lying 
scamps, who were doing everything in their power to 
make trouble and produce alienation of feeling be- 
tween countrymen, you might not think so badly of 
us. I most positively assert that, of all the outrages 
occurring in Texas since the surrender, but the few- 
est possible number have originated out of the feeling 
alluded to by you." 

This was a flat contradiction of the statement that 
General Sheridan had made, and it possibly irritated 
him, but this was not all. Governor Throckmorton, 
in replying to the charge made by General Sheridan, 
that the people of Texas had perpetrated such nu- 
merous outrages upon Union men and freedmen, saw 
fit to call the General's attention to the fact that 
much crime in Texas had been perpetrated by Fed- 
eral soldiers in his command. For in another place 
in his letter he said: " Suffer me to say that, of the 


robberies committed upon freedmen in Texas, a great 
number of them have been by soldiers in his 
command, and others who have been discharged or 
deserted from it. It is undoubtedly true that the 
negroes in the localities of the troops are more afraid 
of imposition from the soldiers than from any other 
quarter. Many of the outrages that have occurred 
in Texas have been perpetrated by deserters and dis- 
charged soldiers from the Army of the United States. 
A band of 17 or 18 in one body went to general 
robbing, and are now in the state penitentiary. An- 
other band of deserters from the Sixth Cavalry went 
directly north through the state from Waco and com- 
mitted every species of outrage. Other squads who 
were discharged, traveled through the state on their 
way North, sometimes representing a Quartermaster 
and Commissary and giving receipts, and in other 
places taking by force." 

This probably was, in the opinion of General Sheri- 
dan, what made Throckmorton an impediment to re- 
construction and caused him to remove the Governor 
from office and led Throckmorton to issue an address 
to the people of Texas in which he said he had not 
been an impediment to reconstruction but to despotic 

As Charles Stewart says in the reconstruction of 
Texas: "Many of our citizens suffered in person and 
in property at the hands of licentious and irrespon- 
sible men who wore the uniform and marched under 
the flag of the United States. One of the most fla- 
grant acts of this character was the burning of the 

KU KLUX KLANT, 1865-1877 249 

town of Brenham, on the night of the 7th of Sep- 
tember A. D., 1866. It excited great indignation 
throughout the state. The legislature was in session 
at the time, and the governor very properly and 
prudently called their attention to the matter. 

"In compliance with the recommendation of the 
governor the legislature sent a committee to Brenham 
fully authorized to obtain the facts, and from the 
report made by said committee we learn that on the 
night of the 7th of September, 1866, a party of 
United States soldiers took possession of a negro ball 
that was in progress in the house of a negro man in 
the town of Brenham. The conduct of the soldiers 
became so indecent as to cause the negroes to aban- 
don their festivities and seek their homes. Infuriated 
because the ball had ceased, they sought to inflict 
vengeance upon some of the negro men who had 
helped to close it. They pursued one of them to a 
house where were assembled a number of white ladies 
and gentlemen and within their hearing, in the most 
profane and obscene language, abused the negro. 
Upon being informed by one of the gentlemen that 
ladies were present, and requested not to use im- 
proper language, they drew their pistols and trans- 
ferred their abuse from the negroes to the white men, 
and cursed them as rebels, and threatened to shoot 
them, when two of the soldiers were shot, one being 
seriously and the other slightly wounded. The sol- 
diers then retired to their camp taking their wounded 
companion with them, but during the night they re- 
turned and fired the town. It was indisputably 


proved that the soldiers set fire to the town. The 
evidence showed that the soldiers who committed this 
outrage acted under the orders of their commanding 
officer, or that he connived at their conduct. When 
an officer of the state went to their camp with the 
authority of the law, to arrest some of the guilty- 
parties, he was informed by the officer in command 
that the soldiers he wanted had the night before de- 
serted. They certainly had been spirited away and 
have never been tried for their crime. Quite a num- 
ber of houses were consumed and property to the 
value of $131,000 was destroyed. The loss was sus- 
tained and divided among about 25 persons, all of 
whom were of moderate means and not able to sustain 
it. The United States has never paid one dollar of 
this loss. The burning of Brenham was exceptional 
only in the amount of property that was destroyed; 
certainly not in perfidy and wickedness. Numbers 
of our citizens were murdered by soldiers of the 
United States, and, in some instances, were deliber- 
ately shot down by them in the presence of their wives 
and children." 

A witness before the Reconstruction Committee at 
Washington in 1866, Mr. John T. Allen, when asked 
about the condition of the negro in Texas said: 
"Some of them in towns can read and a few of them 
can write; some of them are quite intelligent, espe- 
cially those who have been mechanics and have 
worked alongside of white men for a great many 
years; they have acquired the same knowledge as far 
as the ordinary affairs of life are concerned as the 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 251 

white man, and it is an everyday occurrence to hear 
intelligent negroes consulted by white men on the 
plantation, in the work shop and on the stock farms in 
regard to the work and management of their respec- 
tive affairs." This description of the condition of the 
negro in Texas holds good throughout all the slave- 
holding states. Many of their masters had them 
taught trades — shoemaking, blacksmithing, carpen- 
tering and bricklaying. Besides millions were 
trained farmers, and the women of this race were 
the best domestic servants the world has ever known. 
They were also taught sewing, spinning, knitting, the 
care of children and for their faithfulness in the dis- 
charge of this last work taught them, they are known 
as "Black Mammy," and the white children of the 
south reverence and love them, and they are still 
enshrined in the hearts of the South. Many instances 
of the fidelity of the black mammy during the dread- 
ful war period and reconstruction are told to the 
children of today. There was one instance when a 
Federal regiment took a small boy away from his 
home to force him to betray where his brothers, who 
were Confederate soldiers, were at that time, as they 
were home on a furlough. When the officer took him 
on his horse and told him he would hang him if he 
didn't tell him where they were, the boy, ten years old, 
refused to open his mouth and his "Black Mammy" 
crazed with grief over the plight of her boy filled her 
apron with corn cobs and threw them at the regiment. 
This occurred near Athens, Alabama, when Thomas 
N. McClellan, son of Colonel Thomas Joyce McClel- 


Ian, was carried ten miles away from his home by these 
Federal soldiers and kept for several days, they trying 
all the while to make him say where his brothers were. 
He would not open his mouth and one of the younger 
officers in this command, having a boy of that age at 
his own home, told the commander of this regiment 
that he would resign if he did not let the boy go home, 
and there was great rejoicing when he came back and 
I feel that his mother was no more rejoiced to have 
him than was his "Black Mammy" Lucy. This boy 
became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ala- 
bama ; after having become distinguished he received a 
letter from the young Federal officer who interceded 
for his life in which he said he had never seen such 
magnificent control as he showed as a child. 

From an economic standpoint, and, in justice to 
the negro race, which has no better friend than I, 
I ask the reader to remember that the South in 1861 
was the richest part of this country and that these 
riches were based on slave labor, and that the negroes 
were not the helpless and shiftless race that the next 
generation became directly after the Civil War while 
they were being supported by the government, for 
none of the older and well trained negroes would ac- 
cept this help, but went on working as best they could 
under the conditions which were brought about in 
the South by the reconstruction and the Spurious Ku 
Klux Klan which was formed in Washington to go 
South for the purpose of creating a disturbance be- 
tween the races. There were not so many negroes in 
Texas at that time and that question did not trouble 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 253 

the people so much there as where they outnumbered 
the whites ten to one as in the cotton raising states 
of the Old South. 

When General George A. Custer was asked how 
many loyal men there were in Texas, he said: "It 
would be hard to find a man who had been strictly 
faithful to the Union. They forced all the Union 
men to leave the state and that I did not consider it 
safe for a loyal man to stay in Texas." 

When he was asked the question: "Suppose the 
general government should become involved in a war 
with France or England, if he thought the people of 
Texas would fight against the United States flag,'* 
he answered: "I think that the most sensible and 
those inclined to be loyal would fight for the flag." 

"Do you think any outspoken Union man could be 
elected to Congress in Texas," he was asked. 

He answered: "I do not think any man but one 
who had borne a prominent part in the Confederate 
States Army or was in opposition to the Federal 
Government could be elected. Certainly no 'loyal* 
man could." 

The people of Texas remembered the period of 
reconstruction with more bitterness than the years 
of the Civil War. 

In 1869 a radical governor was elected and he so 
mismanaged the affairs that he and his associates 
brought on irretrievable ruin to the Republican party. 

The democrats held a convention in Corsicana and 
arraigned the radical administration as they had done 
in their former platform in 1871. 


This convention declared the "national administra- 
tion to be destructive of the rights of the states and of 
the liberties of the people." 

When this radical governor was "reelected" ille- 
gally he applied to President Grant for troops to as- 
sist him in being inaugurated. This radical governor 
filled the Capital of Texas with troops, most of 
them negroes, the night before he expected to be in- 
augurated, but the Democrats took possession of 
the legislative halls during the night. He again ap- 
pealed to the President for military aid and through 
the Attorney General he replied: "The President is 
of the opinion your right to the office of governor is at 
least so doubtful that he does not feel warranted in 
furnishing United States troops." 

The radical governor then left the capital and 
radical misrule was at an end and this was accom- 
plished by the Ku Klux Klan under Colonel Roger 
Q. Mills and other great Texans. Colonel Mills gave 
me this fact about the Ku Klux Klan. 



In 1861 Missouri was opposed to the Secession of 
the States, and sought earnestly to occupy a posi- 
tion of neutrality; a large portion of her inhabi- 
tants were southern in their origin and for this reason 
this State was under suspicion by the United States 
government and at the beginning of the War be- 
tween the States was promptly occupied by the 
troops of the United States. At the time there were 
two bodies of troops in the State — Militia or State 
Guard of Missouri, which was made up of one bri- 
gade from each Congressional District, and by an 
order of the Legislature was placed under the com- 
mand of Major-General Sterling Price, and the 
United States Troops under General Harney, who 
was commanding the Department of the West which 
included the State of Missouri. General Price was 
a Union man. He had served in the Mexican War, 
had been Governor of Missouri, and was a born 
commander of men, and was qualified to discharge 
this responsible position. The law required an an- 
nual encampment of the Militia and in 1861 the place 
selected for it was about half a mile from the city of 
St. Louis, between Olive and Laclede Avenues, 
known as LindeH's Grove. In May, 1861, several 



companies of Militia numbering 636 men and 50 
officers commanded by General D. M. Frost, went 
into camp and named it "Camp Jackson" for Gov- 
ernor Claiborne E. Jackson, the Governor of the 
State. No sentinels were set to guard against sur- 
prises at this camp, which showed there was no hos- 
tility toward the United States government con- 

General Harney was absent from St. Louis and 
Captain Nathaniel Lyon of the United States Army 
was in charge of the Union Troops in St. Louis. 
Captain Lyon was a New England man and hated 
the South and Southern institutions, and believed 
in coercion. Captain Lyon had the impressoin that 
the Militia of the State intended to attack his men 
and get possession of the arsenal, which was al- 
together false, but he wrote the War Department 
at Washington asking to increase his forces by en- 
listing troops from the solid German population in 
one portion of St. Louis. President Lincoln gave 
him permission to raise ten regiments and by May 
10, 1861, he had raised seven regiments and he had 
drilled them secretly without causing any alarm. He 
had two regiments of Regular United States soldiers. 
General Frost heard that Captain Lyon was making 
preparations to attack Camp Jackson. General 
Frost addressed a communication to Captain Lyon 
stating that he had no intention of attacking the 
arsenal or the United States troops, and that he was 
only at Camp Jackson under the Constitution of the 
State to drill and train the Militia ; and that no flag 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 257 

but the stars and stripes, and the coat of arms of the 
State had ever floated over this camp, and that if 
necessary he would offer the whole power of the State 
to protect the United States in the possession of the 
arsenal and other Government property. Captain 
Lyon would not accept this letter as sincere on the 
part of General Frost and answered: "Your com- 
mand is regarded as hostile toward the Government 
of the United States. It is made up of secessionists, 
is in correspondence with the Confederacy, and is 
acting under the orders of the Governor of Missouri 
who is a Rebel. I therefore demand an immediate 
surrender of your command and dispersion of your 

The three hundred thousand people of the city had 
no knowledge of the condition of the military affairs, 
but were plying their vocations when suddenly on the 
10th of May, Lyon put his army in motion. They 
marched in platoons, reaching from curb to curb, up 
the principal streets toward Olive Street. The ap- 
pearance of this formidable army naturally created 
great excitement, and people left their business; and 
men, women and children followed the troops, the 
number increasing as they went. This was just as 
the schools of St. Louis were being dismissed for the 
day, and the children joined in the procession, and 
though unalarmed followed to LindeH's Grove where 
Camp Jackson was situated. Captain Lyon imme- 
diately surrounded it and demanded its surrender. 
General Frost protested against this unlawful pro- 
cedure, but made no resistance and surrendered, as it 


was inevitable. After the State Troops had surren- 
dered and been disarmed, Captain Lyon ordered his 
troops to open fire on the spectators, killing and 
wounding many of them. 

There have been various versions given of this in- 
cident. General Frost in his report says : "After we 
were disarmed and had surrendered a fire was opened 
on a portion of us by Lyon's troops, and a number 
of men put to death; together with several innocent 

Captain Lyon in his report to Col. L. Thomas, 
Adjutant-General at Washington, says: "My com- 
mand on returning to their station were fired upon 
by a mob which fire was returned by the troops, from 
which, all told, on both sides, about twelve persons 
were killed, two of whom were United States 

It is stated by P. S. Sanderson, an army clerk, that 
after being fired upon Captain Blondowsky ordered 
the United States Troops to fire upon the crowd. 

However the incident was brought about it had 
great bearing on the future course of the State of 
Missouri in regard to the War between the States. 
It is stated as a fact that these troops who fired on 
the crowd of innocent people were for the most part 
Germans, speaking a different language, who were 
employed by the Government to serve with Lyon's 
forces and who had only a crude conception of the 
issues at stake and therefore were unrestrained from 
deeds of lawlessness and violence. 

A lad from the group of boys in a spirit of bravado 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 259 

or boyish sport threw a clod of dirt at a mounted 
German officer and struck him on the leg. This 
officer drew his sword and gave the signal to fire. 
The helpless citizens ran to the other side of the 
square for protection and were fired upon from that 
direction. During the firing upon these innocent 
victims a woman was killed with a baby in her arms 
and a young girl was shot to death. 

Captain Lyon then took all the troops through the 
city as prisoners of war to the arsenal where they 
were kept until paroled by General Harney. 

One of the greatest blunders committed by the 
United States was the taking of Camp Jackson and 
it could have been avoided had the Union leaders in 
St. Louis listened to the counsel of conservative men 
such as Harney and Price. But Lyon was preju- 
diced and there were Radical politicians at Wash- 
ington who were urging him on to this great wrong 
to Missouri. 

Indignation spread rapidly over Missouri and in- 
volved her in a war with the general government. 
The State was cut off from supplies of arms and am- 
munition and there was thrown into her defenseless 
boundaries an organized army of ten thousand 
troops, and all the hard-fought battles and all the 
outrages perpetrated by both Northern and Southern 
parties in Missouri during the war and immediately 
after, may be traced to this deplorable affair, as it 
set a precedent to the Union soldiers to disregard 
personal rights which menaced the personal safety 
of all Southern men. It took from Missouri all 


civil protection, it stimulated oppression on the one 
side and provoked retaliation and revenge on the 
other. Missouri's only hope was to stand upon her 
constitutional rights which were denied her. 

The tragedy of taking Camp Jackson inflamed 
the minds of the people throughout the State and 
they openly advocated war. Governor Claiborne 
Jackson issued a proclamation on June 12, 1861, cal- 
ling for fifty thousand volunteers to defend the State 
against this invasion. After the proclamation Gen- 
eral Lyon began to move his army toward the capitol 
of the State, taking one regiment of regular United 
States troops, Col. Frank P. Blair's volunteers, and 
Lieutenant Totten's battery, by steamboats. Other 
troops under Col. Franz Sigel went by rail. They 
reached Jefferson City the next day and took pos- 
session of the town without resistance as the Gover- 
nor and State officials had left the capitol city. Lyon 
went on up the Missouri River and landed a few 
miles below Boonville where he met with stubborn 
resistance from the citizens, but who were without 
artillery and not being able to withstand Totten's 
battery, retreated. 

General S. G. Sturgis of the Federal Army came 
from Leavenworth, Kansas, to Springfield, Missouri, 
and joined the Lyon forces on July 31st. 

General Sterling Price was rapidly recruiting an 
army of State Troops in the meantime near the Ar- 
kansas border, he was there joined by Gen. Benja- 
min McColloch's command of Arkansas and Texas 
troops and one Louisiana regiment under Col. Lewis 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 261 

Hebert, called the "Pelican Rifles." The two armies 
were well matched in numbers but the Federal troops 
were well armed while a number of mounted men 
under Price were without arms of any kind. The 
battle of Wilson's Creek was fought eight miles from 
Springfield on August 10, 1861, and lasted seven 
hours and was one of the bloodiest and hardest- 
fought struggles during the entire war. Most of the 
Southern men had never been drilled while those of 
the Federal troops were well equipped and trained, 
having served in the United States Army. General 
Sigel's men were German volunteers and had served 
in their country. However, General Sterling Price 
was a veteran of the Mexican War, and General 
McColloch was a Texan veteran who had helped to 
avenge the butchery of the heroes of the Alamo at 
San Jacinto. The attack was quite a surprise to 
their army when Totten's battery opened fire from a 
hill overlooking their camp which is now known as 
"Bloody Hill." The fighting was at close range and 
it was a fatal day for Captain Lyon and his command 
when he brought his lines within easy range of the 
double-barreled shotguns of the Southern frontiers- 
men. The Union army was completely routed, and 
just three months from the day Camp Jackson was 
taken by Lyon's army, he was completely beaten 
and himself slain while rallying for one more charge. 
Then the battle suddenly ended and the victory of 
Wilson's Creek was emblazoned on the arms of the 

In St. Louis a convention was called arbitrarily 


and the offices of Governor and Secretary of State 
were declared vacant, and a Mr. Gamble was ap- 
pointed Governor. The State had yet passed no act 
or form of secession, but the army had assumed com- 
mon cause with the seceding States, and on Nov. 
2, Governor Jackson called a meeting of the Leg- 
islature at Neosho, and they passed an act ratifying 
an agreement made between the State and the Com- 
missioners of the Confederate Government by which 
Missouri was to become a member of the Confeder- 
acy, and they elected George G. Vest and John B. 
Clark, Sr., to the Confederate Congress at Rich- 
mond. "Citizens who had been enjoying life-long 
freedom dwelling in the full liberty of their peaceful 
and quiet homes, faring sumptuously on the rich pro- 
ducts of a virgin soil, which their industry had 
reclaimed from its native state, and under a govern- 
ment which they regarded as the best in the world, 
little dreamed of the trying ordeal through which 
they were so soon to pass — disfranchisement, the in- 
vasion of the sacred precincts of homes by military 
searches, confiscation of property, exposure to indig- 
nities, prison and banishment — and for what offense? 
Divested of fanaticism and passion, the impartial 
historian will answer: "Because he advocated and de- 
fended the sublime principles of State sovereignty." 

Missouri bore a conspicuous part in the War be- 
tween the States by those who were enlisted in the 
Southern cause. 

In the Confederate States of America, Second 
Congress, first session, the following joint resolution 

KU KLUX KLAJNT, 1865-1877 263 

of thanks to Missouri officers and soldiers in the Con- 
federate service, was adopted and approved May 
23, 1864: 

"Resolved: By the Congress of the Confederate 
States of America, That the thanks of Congress are 
eminently due and are hereby tendered to Brigadier- 
General F. M. Cockrill and the officers and soldiers 
composing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Regiments 
of Missouri Infantry; 1st, 2nd and 3rd Regiments of 
Missouri Cavalry; the batteries of Bledsoe, Landis, 
Guibor, Walsh, Dawson, and Barrett; and Wood- 
son's detached Company, all in the service of the 
Confederacy east of the Mississippi River, for the 
prompt renewal of their pledges of fidelity to the 
cause of Southern independence for 40 years unless 
independence and peace, without curtailment of 
boundaries, shall be sooner secured." 

In the year of 1864, on February 13, the era of 
"reconstruction" began in Missouri. By an act of the 
general assembly there was a convention provided to 
amend the state constitution and it went into effect, 
it was known as the Drake convention because one of 
its members, Charles D. Drake "was the controlling 
spirit and absolutely dominated his timid and inferior 
colleagues." The third section of the instrument 
which the convention adopted, was as follows : 

"At any election held by the people under this con- 
stitution, or in pursuance of any law of this state, or 
any ordinance or by-law of any municipal corpora- 


tion, no person shall be deemed a qualified voter, who 
has ever been in armed hostility to the United States, 
or to the lawful authorities thereof, or to the govern- 
ment of this state; or has ever given aid, comfort, 
countenance or support to persons engaged in any 
such hostility; or has ever, in any manner, adhered 
to the enemies, foreign or domestic, of the United 
States, either by contributing to them or by unlaw- 
fully sending within their lines money, goods, letters 
or information; or has ever disloyally held communi- 
cation with such enemies ; or has ever advised or aided 
any person to enter the service of such enemies; or 
has ever, by act or word, manifested his adherence to 
the cause of such enemies, or his desire for their 
triumph over the arms of the United States, or his 
sympathy with those engaged in exciting or carrying 
on rebellion against the United States; or has ever, 
except under overpowering compulsion submitted to 
the authority, or have been in the service of the so- 
called (Confederate States of America) ; or has ever 
left the state and gone within the lines of the armies 
of the so-called (Confederate States of America), 
with the purpose of cohering to said states or armies ; 
or has ever been a member of, or connected with, any 
order, society or organization inimicable to the gov- 
ernment of the United States, or to the government 
of the state, or has ever been engaged in guerilla war- 
fare against the loyal inhabitants of the United 
States, or in that description of maurauding com- 
monly known as bush-whacking, or has ever know- 
ingly and willingly harbored, aided, or countenanced 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 265 

any person so engaged ; or has ever come into or has 
left this state for the purpose of avoiding enrollment 
for or draft into the military service of the United 
States, or has ever, with a view to avoid enrollment 
into the militia of this state, or to escape the perform- 
ance of duty therein, or for any other purpose, en- 
rolled himself or authorized himself to be enrolled, by 
or before any officers as disloyal, or as a southern 
sympathizer, or in any other terms indicating his dis- 
affection to the government of the United States in 
its contest with rebellion, or his sympathy with those 
engaged in such rebellion, or having ever voted at any 
election by the people in this state, or in any other 
of the United States, or in any of their territories, 
or under the United States shall thereafter have 
sought or received under claim of alienage, the pro- 
tection of any foreign government, through any 
counsel or other officer thereof, in order to secure 
exemption from military duty in the militia of this 
state, or in the army of the United States ; nor shall 
any such person be capable of holding in this state, 
any office of honor, trust, or profit under its 
authority; or by being an officer, counsellor, director, 
trustee, or other manager of any corporation, public 
or private, now existing, or hereafter established by 
its authority; or of acting as a professor or teacher 
in any educational institution, or in any common or 
other school; or of holding any real estate, or other 
property in trust for the use of any churches, re- 
ligious societies or congregations. But the foregoing 
provisions in relation to acts done against the United 


States shall not apply to any person not a citizen 
thereof, or who shall have committed such acts while 
in the service of some foreign country at war with the 
United States, and who has, since such acts been 
naturalized, or may hereafter be naturalized, under 
the laws of the United States ; and the oath of loyalty 
hereinafter prescribed when taken by any such person 
shall be considered as taken in such sense." 

The constitution also provided that the general 
assembly should enact laws for the registration of 
voters, and that no one should be allowed to register 
or vote until he had taken an oath in accordance with 
the section above mentioned, but that the taking of 
such oath was not conclusive as to loyalty, but might 
be negatived by other evidence, the registry officers 
being the only judges. 

The ninth section provided that no person shall 
practice law, or be competent as a bishop, priest, 
deacon, minister, elder, or other clergyman of any 
religious persuasion, sect or denomination, to teach, 
or preach, or solemnize marriages, unless such person 
shall have first taken, subscribed, and filed the expur- 
gatorial oath required as to voters by the third section. 

Under these provisions the parent who had given a 
piece of bread or cup of water to a son in the service 
of the Confederate states, or who had in any way 
expressed sympathy for such son was prohibited from 
registering as a voter, or serving as a juror, or teach- 
ing in any school, or preaching the Gospel, or solemn- 
izing any religious rite. A more inhuman, atrocious, 

KU KLUX KLA^J, 1865-1877 267 

and barbarous instrument than this constitution was 
never invented. 

Of course, the constitution was declared adopted, 
but with all the means that could be invented by 
partisan malevolence. 

So monstrous was the outrage, that many leaders 
of the Union party denounced the constitution and 
refused to take the oath prescribed. 

On January 14, 1867, the case of Father John A. 
Cummings, a Roman Catholic priest, who had been 
indicted and convicted for administering the rites of 
his church without first taking the oath prescribed by 
the Drake constitution, came before the Supreme 
Court of the United States, the state of Missouri 
being defendant in error. It was held by Justice 
Field, delivering the opinion, that the Missouri test- 
oath, as it was termed, was in violation of those pro- 
visions of the Federal Constitution which prohibits 
any state from enacting a bill of attainder, or ex post 
facto law, and was therefore null and void. 

Corrupt politicians of the republican party con- 
trolling the vote of paupers and vagabonds (the 
Drake Constitution having excluded from the ballot 
box most of the property holders from the state ) , is- 
sued without the knowledge and without the consent 
of the people more than $15,000,000 in county and 
municipal bonds for the supposed purpose of build- 
ing railroads which never existed except in the minds 
of the speculating politicians. The principal and in- 
terest of these bonds to be paid by the tax-payers. 
In vain did the plundered people appeal to the courts. 


It is hoped that never again will be witnessed upon 
this continent the reign of fraud and outrage to which 
the people of Missouri were subjected during these 
years of republican supremacy. Reconstruction in 
Missouri cost the taxpayers of the state heavily. 

The dishonest financial management of Missouri 
will stand as a monument of the reconstruction period 
in that state. In 1872 the democrats regained their 
control of the state and by strict economy and honesty 
with the moneys of Missouri they were enabled to 
pay these unjust war debts and to increase the value 
of their bonds. It is to be hoped that no state will 
ever have to pay fraudulent debts from which they 
cannot escape, as Missouri did growing out of the 

The Ku Klux Klan was organized in Missouri in 
1868 and was one of the leading factors in the re- 
demption of the state. I knew personally the gallant 
soldier and stainless southern gentleman, Captain 
Clarke Kennedy, who was Grand Dragon of the 
Realm of Missouri of the "Invisible Empire," and 
who gave me this information. He was a valiant 
soldier in the Mexican war and marched with his com- 
mand from Missouri to the City of Mexico, and was a 
Confederate soldier. 



This lap desk of rosewood was presented to Mrs. William H. 
Wallace by her former slave, John Wallace, who was a negro 
member of the Radical Legislature of South Carolina in 1874, as 
a token of his devotion to his "Ole Missis" and it is now treasured 
for this reason by her granddaughter, Margaret Gage (Mrs. 
Morris W. Bush), Birmingham, Ala. 


The facts of Reconstruction in Arkansas were 
stated by W. M. Fishback as follows : 

"To obtain a clear appreciation of the state of 
things in Arkansas during reconstruction it will be 
necessary to show how the 'carpet-bag' government 
was put upon our people by Congress ; also the sort of 
government it was. It is well known that the South- 
ern people had returned from the Civil War utterly 
impoverished. Nothing was left for the support of 
themselves and their families except their own cour- 
age and manhood. The people trusting implicitly 
upon the good faith of Congress pursued their labors 
feeling assured that nothing damaging to their in- 
terests would be consummated without their consent. 

The constitutional convention met and formulated 
a constitution which was so unrepublican in its sched- 
ule that the people did not dream Congress would 
approve it and accordingly not half of them voted 
upon its ratification. This constitution gave to three 
men, James L. Hodges, Joseph Brooks and Thomas 
M. Bowen, such absolute control of the election of 
state and county officials under it that they could 
elect or defeat whom they wished. 



They were given power to select such judges and 
clerks of election as they saw fit. They were given 
power to reject or count all votes which seemed to 
them legal or illegal, fraudulent or rightful. Section 
eleven of this constitution gave these election judges 
the right to allow any vote with which they might be 

The "carpet-bag" politicians elected under this 
constitution knew there was likely to be trouble as 
soon as the people should find out how they had been 
betrayed and how wantonly they were to be plun- 
dered of every sacred right of the citizen. 

Although General C. H. Smith, U. S. A., com- 
manding the District of Arkansas, wrote his superior 
officer that there was no state of facts existing in 
Arkansas to warrant such a step, the governor upon 
the flimsiest pretext declared martial law in many of 
the counties in the state. Negro militia marched and 
maurauded and murdered at will through these 

The legislature passed at this time an amnesty act 
forbidding the punishment of any of the murders or 
outrages committed by this negro militia. It pro- 
tected a multitude of wanton crimes. 

In the face of these outrages what was there then 
about the republican party as our people know it to 
commend it to self-respecting, patriotic men of the 
South? Surely, after reading these facts it will not 
be hard for our fair-thinking fellow citizens of the 
North to account for the solidity of the south and the 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 271 

organization of the Ku Klux Klan in Arkansas, which 
was led by 


General Albert Pike was born in Boston, Massa- 
chusetts, December 29, 1809. When he was four years 
old his parents removed to Newburyport in the same 
State, where young Pike grew to manhood, getting 
the usual education of the times in the common schools, 
supplemented by a few terms at a private school in 
the same town and at the academy in Framingham. 
He began to teach school at the age of fifteen and 
when sixteen passed an examination for and entered 
the freshman class at Harvard. Owing to straitened 
circumstances he paid for his board and tuition by 
teaching during the fall and winter at Gloucester. 
He fitted himself while teaching to enter the Junior 
class in the fall of 1826 and passed the necessary 
examination, but owing to a misunderstanding with 
the faculty regarding his tuition fees he returned 
home and educated himself, going through the pre- 
scribed course of studies for the junior and senior 
years while teaching. He taught in Fairhaven and 
afterward as assistant and principal in the grammar 
school at Newburyport and then for several years in 
a private school in the latter town, until March, 1831. 

In the spring of 1831 he started for the West, 
walking much of the way, and for the next few years 
traveled, explored, traded and lived among the In- 


dians, learning their language and customs, and by 
his honest and straight-forward association with 
them, gained a confidence which thirty years after- 
wards, during the great Civil War, made him so 
useful and powerful among them in the cause of the 
Confederacy which he espoused, and later in the 
prosecution of claims against the U. S. Government 
in their behalf. General Pike commanded a regiment 
and afterward a brigade of Indian troops, C. S. A. 

He settled in Little Rock in 1833 and it was there 
that he became editor of the Arkansas Gazette, studied 
law and wrote for some of the magazines. His series 
of poems entitled "Hymns to the Gods," which were 
written earlier, some of them while surrounded by 
pupils in the classroom, he sent to the editor of 
Blackwood's Magazine, Edinburgh, Scotland, John 
Wilson, who published them about 1838, pronounc- 
ing him "The coming poet of America" and remark- 
ing that "These fine hymns entitle their author to 
take his place in the highest order of his country's 
poets" and that "His massive genius marks him to be 
the poet of the Titans," but his poem "Every Year" 
is called his masterpiece. 

General Pike was a Captain of Cavalry in the Mexi- 
can War where he served with distinction, participat- 
ing in the battle of Buena Vista and afterwards riding 
a distance of five hundred miles, from Saltillo to Chia- 
huahua, through a country swarming with the fugi- 
tive soldiers from Santa Anna's defeated armies., 
with only forty-one men of his command, receiving 
the surrender of the city of Mapini on the way. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 273 

About 1851 he transferred the practice of law 
from Little Rock to New Orleans, practicing also be- 
fore the Supreme Court of the United States, return- 
ing in 1857 to Little Rock where he remained until 
the outbreak of the Civil War, when he served as 
commissioner for negotiating treaties with the In- 
dians and as Brigadier General in the Confederate 
States Army. 

After the War between the States he resided in 
Memphis, Tennessee, for several years, moving to 
Washington about 1869, where he resided for the re- 
mainder of his life. His death occurred on April 2, 
1891, in the eighty-second year of his age. 

He joined Free Masonry in 1850 and in less than 
nine years became the highest ranking officer in this 
institution, becoming Grand Commander of the Su- 
preme Council of the 33rd Degree for the Southern 
Jurisdiction of the United States, which is the 
"Mother Supreme Council of the World" and was 
founded at Charleston, South Carolina, May 31, 
1801, and which office he occupied from 1859 until his 
death in 1891. General Pike became universally 
known throughout the masonic world by reason of 
his activities in promoting the growth of this branch 
of Free Masonry and it was his genius that evolved 
the modern rituals of this masonic rite out of the older 
rituals in use in earlier times. 

As a lawyer he was one of the foremost jurists of 
his day. As a scholar, philosopher, poet and master 
of languages he ranked with the most eminent, and 
as a soldier and statesman his ability was unques- 


tioned. He has been called the "Homer of America" 
and "The Zoroaster of modern Asia." It was when 
he was sixty-five years old that he began the study 
of the Sanscrit language and after mastering this 
ancient and now obsolete tongue was fourteen years 
translating the Vedas and other sacred books of the 
East. Besides poetry and his numerous masonic 
writings, he wrote on law, politics, philosophy, mili- 
tary science and general literature. His manuscript 
writings total in round numbers 36,000 pages and his 
printed writings total about 25,000 pages. Practi- 
cally all of his works are to be found in the Library 
of the Supreme Council at Washington. 

It is an interesting fact and significant of the man 
that he never published any book for sale. With the 
exception of his legal briefs, whatever he had printed 
was done at his own expense for private circulation 
or was donated to the Supreme Council of the 33rd 
Degree over which he presided for so many years. 
His versatile mind, genius, and tremendous energy 
are best illustrated by a perusal of the bibliography 
of his writings which is in print. 

On his death-bed he took up an old-fashioned pen- 
cil and calling for a slip of paper wrote this now 
famous thought: 

"Shalom! — Peace — that comes with blessing to 
care-fretted weary men, when Death's dreamless 
sleep ends all suffering and sorrow." 

James D. Richardson, 33rd Degree (Tennessee) 
said in his address at the dedication of the Memorial 
to General Pike, the magnificent Temple of the 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 275 

Supreme Council on 16th Street, Washington, D. C. 
"When he closed his eyes in death the greatest light 
that ever shone in Free Masonry, in any land, went 
out. Scottish Masons everywhere, no matter what 
language they spoke, knew him and bore testimony 
to their reverence and admiration for him. The 
Grand Bodies of the Rite in many other lands de- 
lighted to honor him; in addition to the high honors 
bestowed upon him by the Mother Supreme Council 
of the World he was Honorary Grand Commander 
of the Supreme Councils of Brazil (United), Egypt 
and Tunis ; Honorary Member of the Supreme Coun- 
cils for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United 
States, France, Belgium, Italy at Torino, Spain, 
England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Greece, 
Hungary, Nueva Granada, Canada, Colon, Peru, 
Mexico and Uruguay." 

For the foregoing biography of General Pike, I 
am greatly indebted to Wm. L. Boyden, 33rd De- 
gree, Librarian of The Temple of the Supreme 
Council of the 33rd and Last Degree of the Ancient 
and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masonry of the 
Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of Amer- 
ica, Washington, D. C. 

Part of a set of chess men was taken from the 
mountain home of Albert Pike when it was raided 
by a detachment of the Second Kansas, U. S. A. 
Cavalry, who were camped near Little Rock, Ark., 
in the summer of 1863. When they returned to 
camp they distributed their booty and these chess 
men fell to the lot of Capt. E. S. Stover of Co. B. 


Soon after the war he moved to New Mexico and 
became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scot- 
tish Rite Masons there. 

In 1915, after so many years, and when he was then 
over 80 years of age (though now dead) he returned 
them to be placed among the relics of General Pike 
in the Library of the SUPREME COUNCIL. 

These old-fashioned chess men were like the ones 
in my home with which General Forrest played a 
"make believe" game with me when I was a little girl. 

General Albert Pike had a most remarkable 
memory, and one of his greatest feats in this line 
was reproducing entirely from memory the Scottish 
Rite Ritual, all copies of it having been destroyed 
by fire in Charleston, S. C, when it was burned by 
the Federals during the Civil War. 

General Pike organized the Ku Klux Klan in 
Arkansas after General Forrest appointed him Grand 
Dragon of that Realm at the convention at Nashville, 
Tenn. He was also appointed at that time Chief 
Judicial Officer of The Invisible Empire. He advised 
in this capacity that the Ku Klux Klan memorize their 
Ritual and to never make it public. 

I have made diligent effort to obtain a written 
Ritual and have requested hundreds of the original 
Klan to recite this for me and they have always said 
that this one secret would never be revealed. 

General Pike appointed Mr. Henry Fielding and 
Mr. Eppie Fielding of Fayetteville, Arkansas, to 
assist him in organizing Dens in that state. They 
were members of the Athens, Ala., Klan from its be- 

;; ; ^ 

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i^iwttii rnmrm i 

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' ./isswtsiii life,-, ; S!iiftw 



I ".II 





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Organized November 
28, 1876 

which redeemed South Carolina from "Carpet Bag" and "Negro 
Rule." Speaker Wallace in Center. 

(See page 215 for other names 

(Contributed by Mrs. Margaret Wallace Gage, 
daughter of General Wallace, Birmingham, Ala.) 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 277 

ginning and went to Arkansas, to live in 1867. They 
were Confederate soldiers, and gave me much in- 
formation about the powerful influence General Pike 
had over the people of Arkansas during the dark 
days of reconstruction. 

In 1872 Arkansas had two governments operating 
at one time and civil war was threatened and great 
excitement prevailed against the Washington Gov- 
ernment. General Pike called a mass meeting at 
Little Rock, Ark., in the Capitol building and ap- 
pealed to the people to be patient until better times 
would come and assured them that he would go to 
Washington and intercede for them, which he did 
many times. 

At this meeting General Pike unfurled the Stars 
and Stripes and in a most beautiful manner, asked 
the people to follow it, which thousands of them did, 
promising him to be patient until the Ku Klux Klan 
could redeem the state. 



At the time of the reconstruction of Florida the 
old party leaders of the anti-bellum days had been 
disfranchised and silenced and there was no political 
organization in a condition to resist the republican 
plan of controlling this and other Southern states by 
the negro vote directed and managed by their party 
friends who had drifted southward with the Union 
army, or that afterwards followed in its wake. 

The democrats nominated for their governor 
Colonel George W. Scott who had been famous as a 
bold cavalry leader during the latter part of the war 
and was at the time of the election at the head of a 
large mercantile business in Tallahassee. All ma- 
chinery of the election was in the hands of the Os- 
borne faction of the republican party. It was held 
under the ordinance framed by their convention that 
the inspectors should continue under the law for 
three days to have the custody of the ballot boxes 
each night. Ballot boxes were constructed with flat 
bottoms for use of the large negro counties and 
though the aperture through which the votes were 
passed was carefully sealed each evening and the key 
was ostensibly entrusted to one who did not have the 
control of the box an ingenious slide enabled the 


KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 279 

custodian, in the seclusion of his home, during the 
quiet of the night, to mould the majority at his will. 
The result of the three days' election was the adop- 
tion of the Osborne constitution notwithstanding the 
general belief among the supporters of the democrats 
that this was not the true result, but they could only 
submit to the power of the general government. This 
was but one of the few tricks used by the republican 
party to gain their ends in holding the political con- 
trol over the state of Florida and forcing upon the 
citizens of that state their own wanton reconstruction 

Mr. Malachi Martin of Jacksonville, Fla., stated 
that during reconstruction in Florida a Mr. McClellan 
and his daughter and some other parties were on the 
stoop of a hotel, and a Mr. Coker was on the stoop 
with others. "I understood that they heard some par- 
ties on the street, and that they supposed there was a 
colored man there who was a constable, a man of the 
name of Calvin Rogers. McClellan said that he 
recognized his voice giving the command to fire. The 
impression is that they intended to kill Coker, but, by 
accident, Miss McClellan was killed and her father 

This was one of the outrages that was reported 
throughout the Northern press, as having been done 
by the Ku Klux Klan, and all of the witnesses testi- 
fied that they saw the act, and there were no Ku Klux 

Any violent death in any part of the South was 


reported as Ku Klux outrages, regardless of the 

It was said that the radical government had re- 
sorted to a rate of taxation under which the people 
suffered and every branch of industry was crippled. 
These taxes were not determined by the owners but 
by a very incompetent body. The election frauds 
were a matter of grave concern and depended upon 
the skill of a board of canvassers who would count 
into office any radicals that they wished. 

From the period of 1868 to 1877 was only record 
of extravagance and corruption. Crime had gone 
unpunished, no schools or public buildings had been 
built since before the war, and yet millions of money 
had been extorted from the people by these extrava- 
gant "carpet-baggers." 

Florida had a worse thing to endure during re- 
construction than had any of the other states of 
the South and that was the presence within her 
borders for about ten years of Mrs. Harriet Beecher 
Stowe whose libelous novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" 
undoubtedly caused the Civil War. She settled on 
a plantation which had been taken away from the 
owners by some men from the North and associated 
openly and freely with negroes inviting them into her 
home on perfect equality, and as she afterwards 
stated, she fed many of them expecting them to pay 
and found that they were only free boarders. She 
lost a great deal of money in her experiment of rais- 
ing cotton on free labor. The Ku Klux Klan, even 
after they had disbanded in 1877 and were again 

KU KLUX KLAJST, 1865-1877 281 

ready to go to work for themselves, as many of them 
had lost years of their time guarding the women and 
children, continued to guard Mrs. Stowe for several 
years after that period for she would come and go 
between her home in Massachusetts and Florida. 



Many people of the State, including General 
William H. Wallace, had asked General Hampton 
to return home and become a candidate for governor 
of South Carolina, which he finally consented to do. 

The annals of Republican rule in South Carolina 
at that time "Is engraven with a pen of iron" upon 
the memory of the people of the State, which was 
suffering from the worst administered government 
that ever asserted authority over a civilized people. 

This condition in South Carolina made the 
"Struggle of 1876" absolutely inevitable. The dark 
cloud which had hung so long over this State began 
to be mysteriously and suddenly lifted by the Ku 
Klux Klan, and Wade Hampton was elected gover- 
nor of South Carolina, but the end of tyranny was 
not quite yet, for Governor Chamberlain had been 
reelected by the Republicans. 

General Hampton said: "The people of South 
Carolina have elected me Governor, and by the eter- 
nal God, I intend to be their Governor." 

He remembered the promise of General Nathan 
B. Forrest that the support of the Ku Klux Klan 
should be his, and he felt assured that he would be 


KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 283 

General William H. Wallace was elected to the 
Legislature in 1874, and at the same time his former 
slave, John Wallace, was elected by the Radicals, 
When this Radical government was spending millions 
and charging it to the State, this negro man would 
not buy anything except a desk which he said he 
would like to have to give to his former mistress, 
Mrs. William H. Wallace. The desk he purchased 
is now owned and prized by one of Mrs. Wallace's 
grand-daughters, a patrician beauty, Mrs. Margaret 
Gage Bush, and is shown in the picture, furnished 
me by her for this book. 

General Wallace was reelected to the Legislature 
in 1876, and afterwards was made Speaker of what 
is known as the "Wallace House." 

General John B. Gordon, and General Wade 
Hampton went to Washington to intercede with the 
President to withdraw the Military from South Caro- 
lina and allow Wade Hampton to be seated as gov- 

General Forrest had requested General Gordon to 
ask Captain John C. Lester of the Pulaski Ku Klux 
Klan to accompany him to Washington, and author- 
ized him to say to President Grant that the strength 
of the Ku Klux Klan was greater than it had ever 
been and stood ready for any emergency, for the 
people of the South had determined to seat the white 
legislature and governor. 

President Grant did not heed their request and 
there was enacted in the State House of South Caro- 
lina the most tragic travesty on government ever 


staged in the entire world in any age, known as the 
"Dual Government." Two governors claimed the 
seat — Chamberlain of the Republican Party, and 
Hampton of the Democratic Party. General W. H. 
Wallace had been elected Speaker of the Democratic 
House, and E. W. M. Mackey was elected Speaker 
of the Republican House. 

When the time came for the opening of the Gen- 
eral Assembly Mr. Mackey came upon the Speaker's 
stand accompanied by several persons not members 
of either body. The other side of the Speaker's stand 
was occupied by William H. Wallace and several 
Democrats. Mr. Mackey said to Mr. Wallace: 

"Sir, the hour for the beginning of the session of 
the House has arrived, and I would be obliged to you 
for the Chair." 

Mr. Wallace replied: 

"The House is already in session and the Speaker 
is already in the Chair." 

Whereupon somebody brought Mr. Mackey a 
chair and the joint session began. 

The suddenness of the Democratic movement left 
no time for concerted action on the part of the Re- 
publicans, and there was no attempt made then to 
eject the Democrats by force. Neither did the Demo- 
crats make any effort to eject Mackey. 

A large body of the regular army of the United 
States was quartered in Columbia, in the State 
House, and the War Department had instructed the 
officers to protect Governor Chamberlain from do- 
mestic violence. It was known that Chamberlain was 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 285 

sending directions to these troops, and a number of 
them were brought into the State House by his 

But the joint session proceeded. Speaker E. W. M. 
Mackey became much excited when told by Speaker 
Wallace that he was in the Chair, and walked over 
towards Wallace. Then Mackey called his Sergeant- 
at-Arms, who was a negro; Speaker Wallace called 
his Sergeant-at-Arms and as they both came for- 
ward, they were followed by both Radical and Demo- 
cratic members. Trouble was imminent, until 
Speaker Wallace requested his House to be seated, 
which they promptly obeyed. 

For several days the Speakers kept their Chairs, 
and night after night they slept as little as possible. 
Each day a roll was called for each House. The 
Journal was read for each House. The pretended 
business for each House was gone through. Bills of 
both Houses were introduced and discussed at the 
same time. The Wallace House consisted of 66 mem- 
bers, and the Mackey House consisted of six white 
men and fifty negroes. 

There were often Speakers on both sides talking 
at the same time. After several days the Wallace 
House was joined by two negroes, Thomas Hamil- 
ton, and N. B. Meyers, who were members of the 
Mackey body. Hamilton made a speech in which he 
justified himself for leaving the Radical body. This 
dual House continued until Dec. 4, 1876, when the 
Wallace House was informed that a large constabu- 
lary force, supported by Chamberlain, who was hold- 


ing the office of Governor and who had the support 
of the commanding officer of the garrison, had his 
troops ready in the State House, and would enter 
during the day and would eject certain members of 
the Wallace House. 

The Wallace House was well armed, and knowing 
that the Ku Klux Klan, increased by tremendous 
numbers, were marching to their assistance from all 
the Southern States in case of a conflict, and that 
more than fifteen thousand commanded by Captain 
John C. Lester, were within easy call of the State 
House, armed and ready to resist, and with reinforce- 
ments sufficient to annihilate the troops, General 
Wallace maintained his policy of patience for which 
he was renowned, and decided to stay no longer in 
the State House. 

He arose and said: 

"Gentlemen of the House of Representatives: I 
have just been informed that there are now in readi- 
ness upward of one hundred men who are about to 
enter this Hall for the purpose of ejecting certain 
members upon this floor. The members for whom it 
is intended that the force shall be applied, have been 
recognized by this House as members, and we dispute 
the authority of the State government to eject from 
this floor any member of this House upon the ground 
that he is not a member of the House of Representa- 
tives of the State of South Carolina. 

"We insist that this House is the only competent 
authority to pass upon the qualifications of its own 
members. The force to which I have alluded is acting 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 287 

by and under the authority of Governor Chamberlain 
and under his commission. The Chair is given dis- 
tinctly to understand that if that force is resisted by 
the members of this House, the military force of the 
United States will be invoked to its assistance. 

"That assistance will be rendered by the United 
States, not for the purpose of upholding another body 
claiming to be the House of Representatives of South 
Carolina, but, upon the grounds, that that force is 
under the Government, and that the action of the 
Military is in support of the Executive authority of 
the State. 

"With the view of preventing a collision upon 
this floor in which lives may be lost and blood shed; 
with the view of preserving the public peace; with 
the view of submitting to a proper and legal arbi- 
tration all the rights we claim on this floor ; the Chair 
is of the opinion that this House should withdraw 
from this Hall. 

"While we assert our rights as the legal Represen- 
tatives of South Carolina, while we dispute any au- 
thority under the sun to decide for us who have rights 
upon this floor, but solely for the purpose of pre- 
serving peace and preventing bloodshed; and of 
conforming our conduct to the public teachings of 
the political leaders of the State, I am of the opin- 
ion, that this House should withdraw to another 

"It is not essential to the House of Representa- 
tives that it sit in this Hall. The Constitution of 
South Carolina requires that the General Assembly 


shall meet in the City of Columbia, and with a view 
of giving emphasis to the reason why I withdraw, 
I desire to repeat, that while we claim and insist upon 
our legal rights for the purpose of keeping the peace 
and preventing blood-shed we will repair to another 
Hall and exercise the functions that appertain to this 

"I may as well state that the only House that can 
exist in South Carolina is a body consisting of 63 
members. That constitutes a quorum of that body 
under the Constitution, the membership of that body 
being fixed at 124; the Constitution also provides 
that a majority of these members is alone competent 
to do business. I therefore, gentlemen, upon the 
grounds stated, and for the reasons given, while in- 
sisting that we are the only Constitutional House of 
Representatives in South Carolina, for the purpose 
of preventing bloodshed, recommend that we do 
adjourn to another hall in this city." 

After this appeal of General William H. Wallace, 
the "Wallace House" of Representatives adjourned 
to the Carolina Hall, and proceeded to function until 
the session closed Dec. 22, 1876. 

While Speaker Wallace was delivering this classic 
of courage and consecration to the rights of his State, 
and which immortal appeal led to its redemption and 
to the saving of the Republican form of government 
in this country, General John B. Gordon was plead- 
ing with President Grant at Washington to remove 
the troops from the State House and inaugurate 
Hampton as Governor to save the bloodshed which 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 289 

would come if the people of South Carolina, led by 
the Ku Klux Klan should be forced "to fight with 
their backs to the wall." But President Grant 
promised no relief. 

The plans of Governor Chamberlain to cause the 
clash between the Wallace House and the soldiers 
he had sent to the State House had been discovered 
by the Ku Klux Klan in a mysterious manner, and 
Speaker Wallace was notified of Chamberlain's plot 
to send a proclamation into the Hall requiring all 
persons to leave it, by Captain John C. Lester, who, 
being a stranger was ejected from the Hall of Rep- 
resentatives by the Sergeant-at-Arms ; but not until 
he had delivered his message to Speaker Wallace 
from the Ku Klux Klan. 

Under this proclamation all members of the body 
presided over by Mr. Mackey were to be conducted 
to the Adjutant-General's office on the lower floor 
of the State House in which the soldiers had been 
stationed to resist an attack. 

It was expected that the House presided over by 
Speaker Wallace would disregard Chamberlain's 
proclamation and remain in the Hall, and that would 
bring on the struggle which would destroy Wallace's 
body, and preserve the body over which Mackey 

The plot was defeated by the wise decision of 
Speaker Wallace to withdraw from this Hall. This 
was a tremendous moment for the South and par- 
ticularly for South Carolina, for a collision would 
have been inevitable between the two bodies if the 


attempt of Governor Chamberlain to bring on 
bloodshed on the part of the Wallace House had 

On the day that the Speaker left the Hall, the 
legality of the Wallace House was being considered 
by the Supreme Court, in the proceedings under the 
petition for mandamus against Hayne and Mackey. 
There were other plots planned by Chamberlain 
but before they could be executed that court had sol- 
emnly adjudged that the Speaker of the Wallace 
House was lawfully elected by a Constitutional 
Legislature of South Carolina and that Mr. Mackey 
was not entitled to his seat. 

Mr. Mackey having been judicially declared to be 
without power to give legislative sanction to any 
measure passed by his body, and without power to 
levy and collect taxes, and as presiding officer no 
power to declare the rules of the election of Gover- 
nor and Lieutenant-Governor, there was no reason 
for the continued existence of the body known as the 
Mackey House, and it was dissolved forever. 

The returns of the election had been unlawfully 
delivered to Mr. Mackey and the copies had been 
deposited in the counties of the State. They were 
sent for by the Wallace House and on the 14th of 
December General Wade Hampton was declared 
by Speaker Wallace to be the Governor of South 

In the words of General William H. Wallace, 
"On the same day in an open square of this city, 
Columbia, South Carolina, the grandest inaugura- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 291 

tion of Governor and Lieutenant-Governor ever 
witnessed in this State was celebrated. Thousands 
with uncovered heads listened in silence while the 
oath of office was administered and taken with the 
solemnity befitting the occasion. 

"This was the crowning act of the deliverance of the 
people and the redemption of the State. The pent- 
up feeling of the present multitude found expres- 
sion in cheers, hoarse with emotion. They felt that 
this was no idle ceremony; that the step had been 
taken after full consideration, and was now a great 
consummated fact that no human power could 
reverse. Hampton and Simpson were Governor 
and Lieutenant-Governor. Patriotic struggle was 
rewarded. The bitter cup of political humiliation 
had passed away; the State was ours, with all her 
cherished traditions and proud history, was again 

After this trumph of the people their patience was 
tried to the point of desperation because Governor 
Chamberlain still assumed to be Governor of South 

On March 4, 1877, President It. B. Hayes was 
inaugurated, and he requested Governor Wade 
Hampton and Governor Chamberlain to come to 
Washington, after General John B. Gordon and Cap- 
tain John C. Lester, representing the Grand Wizard 
of the Invisible Empire who was at that time ill, 
delivered General Nathan B. Forrest's message to 
President It. B. Hayes, "That the Ku Klux Klan re- 
quested him to devise some policy by which the Mili- 


tary would be withdrawn from the South, and the 
people left in peace with the negroes as employer and 
employee, with separate schools, no social or political 
equality and if this was not done, they would insist on 
the negroes being colonized or deported as was 
Lincoln's intention and which had been the policy of 
the whole country regarding all free negroes since the 
foundation of our government. 

The idea of the "colonization" of free negroes was 
not new, for as far back as 1817, the South and the 
North, both felt it was best for the whole country 
that they should be colonized. Before the period of 
negro servitude had ended in most of the North 
Atlantic States, societies for the purpose of coloniz- 
ing them were organized; and in the South in 1817 
this plan had the earnest support of W. H. Craw- 
ford, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, John Marshall, 
John Tyler, James Madison, James Monroe and 
other leading Southern men, who were slave owners. 

In 1856 General John Tyler wrote: "The citizens 
of the Southern States since the adoption of the Con- 
stitution, have emancipated two hundred and fifty 
thousand negro slaves. Assuming the average value 
of these slaves to have been five hundred dollars, the 
citizens of the Southern States have contributed one 
hundred and twenty-five million dollars towards 

"And when we consider that in almost every case 
of individual emancipation at the South, a sum equal 
to the full value of the slave has been invariably 
given to him to enable him to purchase a home for 

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"The Lone Figure in Gray" 


of Washington, D. C, who is 91 years old, and marched from the 
White House to the Capitol at President Harding's funeral, wearing 
his Confederate uniform, thus epitomizing the unity of our Nation. 

— Washington Post. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 293 

himself, and in addition to this the immense sums con- 
tributed to the "Colonization Society" by others, we 
do not exaggerate the sum voluntarily bestowed in 
this way by the South, when we set it down at two 
hundred and fifty million. 

"This immense sum has been paid not by a rich 
public treasury, but by private families who lived by 
labor of the slaves they surrendered; not with the 
slightest hope of pecuniary emolument, but from no 
other possible motive than quiet and conscientious sen- 
timent." (De Bow's Review, December 1856.) 

So in point of unselfish devotion to the true inter- 
ests of the negro, his financial, moral, physical and 
spiritual welfare — the South was in the lead before 
the Civil War. 

It is a well-known fact that President Lincoln ap- 
proved of deportation or colonization of the negroes 
after the Civil War and the Ku Klux Klansmen who 
went to discuss the problem with President Hayes, re- 
minded him of President Lincoln's policy. 

President Hayes is said to have been deeply im- 
pressed with the earnestness of these Southern gen- 
tlemen, and not wishing to further harass and worry 
them into greater retaliation, he issued an order to 
the Secretary of War, to remove the troops from the 
State House of South Carolina, and at noon, on 
April the 10th, 1877, the order went into effect. 
This same day Chamberlain notified Governor 
Hampton of his intention to surrender to him the 
Executive Chambers; and on April the 11th, the 
transfer of the papers and seal was made and Gov- 


ernor Hampton began his service as Governor of 
South Carolina, and called the General Assembly 
to meet in Special Session, April 24, 1877. 

The Wallace House met in the House of Repre- 
sentatives on April 24, 1877, and commenced to dis- 
charge its duties as the House of Representatives of 
South Carolina, thus ending the "Revolution of 1876" 
with as little blood-shed as could have been possible 
under the circumstances. 

The "Wallace House" will live in the hearts of lib- 
erty-loving people forever, for through their cour- 
age they maintained the dignity of the judicial 
tribunal, and abided by its just decision, and this 
struggle of 1876 settled forever the supremacy of 
the white man's government so far as the South is 

Until this day Sir Arthur Balfour's declaration 
holds good, that "The admission of inferior colored 
races to participation in government would destroy 
civilization itself." This fact is as firmly established 
in the minds of the Southern States as it is in Eng- 
land in regard to the South African Confederation 
to which Balfour had reference. 

"The Spirit of 1776" which made Moultrie man his 
palmetto log fort and destroy Sir Peter Parker's 
fleet pulsated in the bosom of every Southerner and 
made possible the victory of 1876, — the triumph of the 
whites over the blacks; of civilization and progress 
over barbarism and the forces which were undermin- 
ing the foundations of our country, and destroying 
republican form of Government." 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 295 

William Henry Wallace was born in Laurens 
County, S. C, March 24, 1828, and died March 21, 
1901. His family was of Scotch descent and had 
been long residents of that county. His father, 
Daniel Wallace, was a member of Congress. Wil- 
liam Henry Wallace was prepared for College at 
Cokesbury, S. C, and graduated from the South 
Carolina University in 1849, and began the study 
of law. 

He was admitted to the bar in 1860. The same 
year he was elected to the Legislature of his State 
and served two sessions. Called by the voice of his 
state to arms he left the Legislature and joined the 
18th South Carolina regiment when South Carolina 

He entered Company A as a private, but was ap- 
pointed adjutant before he reached Virginia, and was 
soon promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. At the sec- 
ond battle of Manassas his regiment was engaged in 
fighting and he succeeded to full command when Col. 
Gadberry was killed. 

Col. Wallace then commanded his regiment in all 
the engagements of Longstreet's Corps and in such 
a manner as to merit the praise of his superior offi- 
cers and gain the confidence of his men. After the 
explosion of the mine at Petersburg, Va., he suc- 
ceeded Gen. Elliott as Brigadier-General. His 
brigade consisted of the 17th, 18th, 22d, 23d, 26th 
and the Holcombe Legion, and at the surrender of 
Appomattox it was a part of General John B. Gor- 


don's (formerly Stonewall Jackson's) corps, Bushrod 
Johnson's division. 

The surrender of Lee's army came and the last 
infantry fighting was from General Wallace's com- 
mand. Strange to say in one of the hottest of the 
battles he was struck by bullets eight times but was 
never severely wounded. This is another instance in 
the War between the States of a private from the 
ranks ending his career as Brigadier-General. 

After the close of the War he practiced law and 
served several times in the Legislature. When the 
reconstruction measures were applied to South Caro- 
lina he was made chairman of a county convention 
to arouse the people to rise up against and deliver 
themselves from this radical government. 

In 1872 a compromise was made with the Republi- 
cans by which a ticket composed of Independent 
Democrats and Republicans was sent to the Legis- 
lature on which was elected General Wallace for the 
Democrats and his body servant, John Wallace, a 
negro, on the Republican ticket. This negro was de- 
voted to his former master and was at all times 
respectful to him although he was put in this 
political position by the Radicals. 

In 1874 General Wallace was again elected to the 
Legislature and in 1876 when the people had deter- 
mined to rescue the state from Radical mis-rule, his 
services were most powerful. His most useful poli- 
tical work and the most dangerous was presiding 
over the Wallace House, which at last freed South 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 297 

Carolina from negro and carpet-bag rule, with the 
assistance of the "Invisible Empire." 

(General Wallace's daughter, Mrs. Victor Gage of 
Birmingham, Alabama, and his grand-daughter, Mrs. 
Morris Bush, who is one of the most patrician beauties 
of Alabama, have rendered me great assistance in com- 
piling the biography of General Wallace.) 

F. J. Moses, Jr., a white man, a native of the 
State, whose character is properly delineated in the 
words of Governor Chamberlain, was Speaker of the 
House of Representatives, and he and his associates, 
seventy-two whites and eighty-five negro members, 
took office in July, 1868. 

The Governor who was inaugurated was General 
R. K. Scott from Ohio, and was one of the agents 
of the Freedmen's Bureau in the State and they 
began the reconstruction of South Carolina. Their 
first act was to refurnish the halls of legislation in 
the State House, replacing chairs that cost one dol- 
lar with crimson plush gothic chairs, for four-dollar 
benches, two-hundred dollar crimson plush sofas. 

The whole finishings cost $50,000, but they appro- 
priated $95,000 to pay the bill for sundries, supplies 
and such debts. $350,000 were appropriated, thus 
the State was plunged into needless debt by these 
unprincipled men. 

During this time a threat was made to impeach 
Governor Scott, and he paid Speaker Moses $10,000 
for his rulings against it. During the six years 
1868-1874 Scott was the governor, F. J. Moses was 
the Speaker of the House of Representatives, whose 


chief mode of plundering the state was to issue illegal 
pay certificates and this was known as the "Legis- 
lative Ring." 

There were ten messengers employed and he 
issued one hundred and forty certificates one ses- 
sion. He issued this session $1,168,225 worth of cer- 
tificates, all of which except $200,000 was robbery of 
the State. Yet this F. J. Moses, Jr., was elected to 
succeed Scott and the robbery continued. 

As Speaker of the House of Representatives, the 
debt of the State had increased from $5,407,306 to 
$18,515,000. The taxpayers of the State had no 
voice in legislation and were reduced to trying some 
form of relief. Knowing the State government 
would not aid them they organized in 1871 the Tax- 
payers' Convention of which they issued an appeal to 
the country and the President of the United States 
for assistance, but none came. 

A committee was formed to go to Washington and 
personally appeal to the President and it was hard 
for them to raise money to go there, but these corrupt 
state officials drew $2500 from the State Treasury 
and sent men to Washington to urge President 
Grant to refuse them aid. When the committee of 
the real citizens of South Carolina approached 
President Grant he treated them impatiently and 
their mission was a failure. 

Moses pardoned all criminals who would pay him, 
and even his successor, Governor D. H. Chamber- 
lain, a republican, said of him when he was illegally 
elected to the Supreme Court, "He is as infamous a 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 299 

character as ever in any age disgraced and prosti- 
tuted a public position." 

Governor Chamberlain preached reform and per- 
haps tried to better conditions, but it had little effect. 
The people continued to send men to see President 
Grant but he only refused them aid and the question 
confronted the people to devise some means to secure 
control of their State and the Ku Klux Klan. fulfilled 
their hopes at last, under the leadership of Captain 
James A. Townsend, First Grand Cyclops Ku Klux 
Klan of South Carolina. 


There are historians who say there was no calamity 
to the South so great as the loss of Mr. Lincoln save 
perhaps that of the war; and but for that calamity 
the states undoubtedly would have continued with 
their self government in the Union on the lines that 
he had marked out and the horrors of reconstruction 
would have been avoided, but his indecision caused 
his plan to fail. 

Congress had pledged its faith that the war was 
purposed only to save the Union, and was not for 
subjugation or oppression. Mr. Lincoln had through- 
out the war held to the fact that secession was null and 
void and the states still to be in the Union but acting 
rebelliously. Johnson likewise, as history shows, took 
the position that a state could not secede and that 
therefore none of the Southern states had ever been 
out of the Union. 

When the laying down of arms was completed the 
"dawn which had cheered the close of Lincoln's life 
had become the full day of peace." 

After the Confederate arms were laid down the 
"triune personality called (the government of the 
United States) took many steps in the establishment 
of peaceful conditions, beginning early in 1865 and 



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Authentic History Ku Klux Klan 

Susan Lawrence Davis, Author. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 301 

ending in what may be called *de jure peace' — that 
of April 2, 1866, all being done with the universal 
wishes of the people." 

President Lincoln evidently had no intention of 
taking hold of the states after military necessity had 
passed, but his unwise, unpatriotic, and most impolitic 
policy was to restore relations and functions, based on 
the negro vote. 

In a letter to Governor Michael Hahn, of Louisi- 
ana, dated March 13, 1864, Lincoln writes: "Now 
you are about to have a convention which, among 
other things, will define the elective franchise, I 
barely suggest for your consideration, whether some 
of the colored people may not be let in — as, for in- 
stance, the very intelligent. But this is only a sug- 
gestion not to be made public, but to you alone." 

The writer will merely say here that both these 
men, namely, Governor Hahn and Abraham Lincoln, 
realized the people's fitness for self rule, and the 
duty in the premises of trusting the Southern people 
with all their future political problems. 

About the time of Lincoln's death it leaked out 
that some unlawful or revolutionary scheme like the 
forming of a new Constitution was on foot. When it 
transpired the great Louisiana jurist, Christian 
Roselius, who had stood for the Union and against 
seceding in the convention of 1861 and through the 
war said, that "Every participant in the treasonable 
scheme should be arrested and sent to jail," but so 
secret was the conspiracy that it had actually ma- 
tured a constitution. It was then that the horrors 


of reconstruction began. The flagrant perfidy of 
politicians; the tyranny of military law, the trials 
of the drum-head, were just a few of the injustices 
to which the people of the state of Louisiana were 
submitted. After ten years of horror the reconstruc- 
tion ended when the Ku Klux Klan redeemed the 

In an election which was held November 4, 1872, 
the republican candidate, W. P. Kellogg, who had 
represented Louisiana in the Senate, was counted in 
by the Returning Board, which was not legal. The 
Federal power installed the Kellogg government 
which had not been elected and he was unable to per- 
form the functions except when backed by Federal 
bayonets. This brought about great confusion and 
brought on the Colfax riot in which so many lives 
were lost. The people refused to pay any taxes to 
the Kellogg government and the Legislature passed 
some very stringent tax laws, among them one which 
contained a provision that if anyone failed to pay 
their taxes within thirty days he could not bring suit 
in his own behalf or be a witness in his own behalf 
and the officials were ordered to deny him his day in 
court until his taxes were paid. This and the Re- 
turning Board law were among the things that made 
such unrest among people and led them to organize 
under the name of the "White League." This 
league started to arm itself and Kellogg attempted 
to prevent. There was a collision and the two forces 
meeting on the levy had a bloody battle in which 
40 persons were killed and 100 wounded. In the elec- 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 308 

tion of 1874 the democrats were elected and the Re- 
turning Board by throwing out a number of polls 
and parishes elected a republican legislature. Kel- 
logg was always writing to Washington for more 
troops and still more troops and he would use them 
just as he chose. General P. H. Sheridan was put 
in command of Louisiana and he telegraphed to the 
Secretary of War that fair dealing could be estab- 
lished in Louisiana by the arrest of the members of the 
White League. He urged that they should be de- 
clared banditti and tried by a military commission 
for untruthful men had convinced him and asked him 
to so inform the government that 1500 murders of 
Union men and negroes — political murders — had been 
committed in Louisiana since 1868. But all of this 
wrong-doing did not benefit Kellogg in the least. 
The White League was not the same organization as 
the Ku Klux Klan and preceded this organization in 
Louisiana. This state was made a member of the In- 
visible Empire in 1869 and did very efficient work in 
the campaign of 1876 when Louisiana was successful 
in her struggle for white supremacy. 

Major Isbel, of General Forrest's staff, told Rev. 
Joseph E. Roy, a carpet-bagger in 1871, that when- 
ever the negroes in Louisiana would work the former 
owners would offer them part of the crop and furnish 
everything and this plan worked well. 

Mr. Roy said that General Forrest told him that 
he had never had any trouble with his negroes; that 
he took 45 negro men with him to the Civil War to 
drive his teams, care for his cavalry horses, cook for 


him and otherwise assist him and he promised them 
that when the war was over, whether he won or not, 
he would set them free. He said he only lost four 
of them by death during the four years of the war 
and that the remaining forty-one were still with him 
on his plantation and loved him and honored him and 
would even cast their votes for him when he had not 
asked them to do so and the Republicans could not 
persuade them to vote with them when any issue 
was before the people that General Forrest wanted. 
He never ran for an office but asked for special taxes 
in Mississippi and Alabama for building a railroad. 

Mr. Roy wrote to Northern people that four schools 
had been broken up by the Ku Klux Klan and several 
buildings burned and notices served on the white fe- 
male teachers from the North to leave the state. "To 
show the spirit of the men, one of the state officials 
passed the negro school and I was standing near with 
Rev. J. W. Alvord of Boston, and he said, 'What is 
that, a school? Is it a "nigger school"?' I answered: 
'Yes, sir, taught by females.' 'Well I have seen the 
end of absurdities,' he answered." Mr. Roy said that 
he heard an old steamboat captain in Louisiana say 
that General Ben Butler was the biggest thief in the 
world and that he had stolen enough silver spoons in 
New Orleans to build him a fine house in Washington 
City. Mr. Roy replied: "If you don't behave we 
will send General Butler back to straighten you out." 

Mr. Roy said that he was on a boat with the famous 
Admiral Semmes of "The Alabama' and tibat he said 
he "submitted to force but that he still believed their 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 305 

purposes were right." He further stated that Judge 
Lumpkin of Georgia told him that "by and by they 
meant to join the West and leave New England out 
in the cold, politically. 

The national election depended on the vote of 
Louisiana in 1876 and therefore the whole country 
watched it with great interest and the methods of 
the Returning Board became known throughout the 
country and the people learned that the entire elec- 
tion machinery was in the hands of adventurous 
8 'carpet-baggers." There had been ballot box stuff- 
ing, falsification of returns and other crimes were 
clearly shown but this did not impress the govern- 
ment at Washington sufficiently to see the legally 
elected officers seated. The democrats had carried 
the state by 8000 majority but when the Returning 
Board got through with its work it had made a 9000 
republican majority. There were two governments, 
one headed by Governor Nichols, duly elected by the 
popular vote and the other by a Mr. Packard and 
both these governments organized in 1877. From 
January to March Louisiana remained in this con- 
dition with two governors, two legislatures and two 
supreme courts. 

Packard had promised the negroes anything they 
would ask for if they would vote for him so over 
1000 of these negroes voters lived, ate and slept in 
the State Capitol. The magnificent building became 
so filthy that it was dangerous to the public health 
and finally smallpox broke out in the State House. 
With this horrible condition Packard still held on 


hoping the Federal Government would help him as 
they had Kellogg to be seated. After several months 
of this condition in Louisiana there were many riots 
and civil war was threatened and President Ruth- 
erford B. Hayes decided to withdraw the troops and 
Packard packed his carpet-bag and left the State 
never to return. 

In 1877 the period of reconstruction practically 
ended with the overthrow of radical rule in South 
Carolina and Louisiana, and the Union was restored 
as it was in 1776, by the Ku Klux Klan, commanded 
by the immortal Wizard of the Saddle and Grand 
Wizard of the Invisible Empire, Nathan B. Forrest. 

Mr. John C. Calhoun said: "The Constitution 
made the Union. There would have been no Union 
without the Constitution. Therefore when that Con- 
stitution was violated and repudiated by Abraham 
Lincoln and his party the Union was destroyed" — 
destroyed by the republican party — and this history 
will prove overwhelmingly that the Union was saved 
by the Ku Klux Klan. 

This fact is stated that "confidence in the South- 
ern people may be restored and that they truly ac- 
cept the results of the war in good faith may be be- 
lieved and may in some manner relieve the southern 
people from the charge of treason in order that their 
descendants and the future generation of Northern 
people may not, under the influence of so-called his- 
tories, false, partisan and vituperative cease to honor 
them and that their right to elect Southern men Presi- 
dent of the United States may not be longer abridged. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 307 

Quoting from "All Around the Civil War" by 
William Hawn, of the Seventh Louisiana Regiment : 
"I yield to none in my devotion to the Union. One 
country, one Constitution, one destiny. The Union, 
of hearts, the Union of hands and the flag of our 
Union forever." 

Colonel Lee Crandall of Louisiana was in "Stone- 
wall Jackson's" corps, Confederate States Army, and 
now typifies the Union of States. 

The Ku Klux Klan of Louisiana was led by Gen- 
eral Albert G. Blanchard who was a Confederate 
soldier commanding a brigade. 


I believe that the age in which we live, and the 
rapid march of events that have marked the progress 
of both North and South since the Civil War has 
caused the reconstruction period to be too little 
known; that even those of the North who were con- 
temporaneous with this time, much less those who 
have grown to adults since, have very little knowl- 
edge of the cruelty and injustice visited upon the 
South by the unnecessary reconstruction methods. 

Among the historic cruelties of the world they will 
stand out preeminent before the fair-minded, hon- 
est Northerner and will be classed by impartial 
minds with the horrible murder of the Duke of Alva 
in the Low Countries, which sent a thrill of horror 
throughout Christendom; the Massacre of St. 
Bartholomew and the Spanish Inquisition, and I 
here before God measuring my words, knowing their 
full extent and import that neither the deeds of the 
Duke of Alva in the Low Countries, nor the Mas- 
sacre of St. Bartholomew, nor the thumb-screws or 
engines of torture of the Spanish Inquisition begin to 
compare with the atrocity and the hideous crime of 
reconstruction of the seceded states of the United 
States of America by the General Government. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 309 

This fact compelled the men of the South from 
the Potomac to the Rio Grande to forget all party 
lines, Union men and Secessionists, Whigs and Demo- 
crats, to consolidate into the one political body known 
as the "Solid South''; this did not follow the "Lost 
Cause," but to protect themselves against a return 
of such conditions as they suffered in 1865 to 1877, 
and this combination replaces the Ku Klux Klan 
which is for self-preservation, the first law of nature. 

The final act of the Ku Klux Klan was assisting 
the people of South Carolina in seating their legal 
officials in 1877. 

The Klan was at that time guided by General John 
B. Gordon who had been appointed by General 
Forrest to act in his place as he was ill. Captain 
John C. Lester, Captain John B. Kennedy, General 
Edmund Pettus, Major Robert Donnell and Major 
James R. Crowe and Colonel Sumner A. Cunning- 
ham accompanied him, leading of Ku Klux Klans, 
comprising many thousands, who were ready to come 
to the assistance of the State officials. 

The Invisible Empire was of one accord, as in the 
words of General John B. Gordon, when he arose in 
the "Wallace House," by invitation of the Speaker 
and exclaimed : 

"In times of great peril when the liberties of the 
people are involved, he that hesitates is a dastard, 
and he that doubts is damned." 

As the years have gone by we can not fail to pay 
tribute to the men of the Ku Klux Klan who accom- 
plished so much good. There is a sense of gratitude 


throughout the South, and they are called the saviors 
of "Sunny South." 

There was a bond of union, in the Ku Klux Klan, 
as strong as the eternal hills. There was a sense 
of honor never shown by any organization in the 
history of the world, where under no circumstances 
could they be induced to betray each other. "It 
arose in mystery, and was clothed in secrecy." 

Will the world, today, deny the fact that the Ku 
Klux Klan solved the problem of White Supremacy, 
and that the "Solid South" was the direct outcome 
of its activities? 

Dr. William M. Polk said, "The history of the 
Civil War South belongs to the 'men and women,' 
the history of Reconstruction (and the Ku Klux 
Klan) belong to the 'women and men,' for in that 
dire period when the men had almost collapsed, and 
were bewildered on their way, the women encouraged 
them to still fight on, for 'Field and Fireside,' under 
the* leadership of the Ku Klux Klan, between the 
years 1865 and 1877." 

The women made the regalia for the Ku Klux 
Klan, kept the home-fires burning, guarded the 
secrets of the Klan, and by their inspiration, held be- 
fore them a vision of the "Glorified South" of today; 
making possible the dream and the determination of 
the Ku Klux Klan, whose very motive and act pro- 
claimed: "Out of this nettle danger, we pluck this 
flower, Safety!"; safety for the white race, safety for 
separation of Church and State, safety for Civili- 
zation in saving our Republican form of government. 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 311 

The Ku Klux Klan, its work done, and well done, 
disbanded forever, upon the death of General Nathan 
B. Forrest, in 1877. 

When Forrest's great spirit had passed, his name 
was engraven upon the hearts of all the Southland as 
sacred, and as a synonym for "Ku Klux Klan." 

General Forrest spent the summer of 1877 seeking 
health in the mountains of Tennessee, at Hurricane 
Springs, and in August he went to Elkmont Springs, 
Giles County, near Pulaski, the birthplace of the Ku 
Klux Klan. The marvelous mineral water of these 
springs improved his condition for awhile but the 
deep-seated disease had wrought its work and it was 
apparent that his days were numbered. 

He called the Ku Klux Klan to meet at Elkmont 
Springs and assured them that his prayer had been 
answered — and the South was saved. He then is- 
sued by couriers a call for a final meeting at Athens, 
Alabama, of all the Klansmen of the "Invisible 
Empire," as his strength was failing and this place 
was on his way back to his home in Memphis. 

All of the Grand Dragons of the Realms of the 
Invisible Empire responded to the call and many 
other of the Ku Klux Klan were there when the 
meeting was held in 1877, in the "Pepin Hall" — an 
improvised auditorium in the upper chamber of the 
Home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Pepin, for all 
public buildings had been destroyed by the Federal 
Army and this was the meeting place for all public 
gatherings at that time. 

In the "Pepin Hall" was an altar which had been 


placed there by Mr. and Mrs. Pepin who were 
Catholics, and who arranged to have a priest come at 
intervals for services and they would invite the 
Catholics far and near to attend. 

In this Hall in 1867, the Trinity Episcopal 
Church, of Athens, was organized; Mrs. Pattie 
Vasser McClure, later Mrs. Charles Berry, and 
her brilliant and saintly sister, Mrs. Rebecca Vasser 
Howard- Saunders, were the leading spirits. Right 
Reverend Richard Hooker Wilmer was the Bishop 
of Alabama at this time. This church held services 
in this hall until 1875, when the Court House which 
had been destroyed by the United States Army dur- 
ing the war was rebuilt and a room was loaned to 
this Church until funds were raised by Mrs. 
Saunders' indefatigable efforts to build the present 
Trinity Church. 

The Masonic Hall of the town had been damaged 
by the Federal soldiers and this hall was used by the 
Masons. On the night General Forrest met with 
the Ku Klux Klan the last time this hall was used 
by the Masons, who first donned their Masonic 
regalia and an hour later their Ku Klux Klan 

General Forrest had orally communicated to 
the Grand Dragons of the Invisible Empire, his 
order of disbandment number one (No. 1, Septem- 
ber, 1877) after which he reverently approached the 
little altar and kneeling led them in prayer. 

He arose and turned to them and with great emo- 
tion and said, "Mary's and my Mother's prayers have 

KU KLUX KLAN, 1865-1877 313 

been answered, and I have made my peace with 
God, and I wish to die at peace with all the world." 
He thanked the Ku Klux Klan for their fidelity 
to him during his leadership, and assured them that 
he had never doubted them, or believed that they had 
ever violated their Ku Klux oath. General Nathan 
B. Forrest's last words to the Ku Klux Klan were: 
"There never was a time before or since its organ- 
ization when such an Order as the Ku Klux Klan 
could have lived. May there never be again!" 



1. W. W. Bradley, 

2. R. R. Hemphill, 

3. F. A. Conner, 

4. William Hood, 

5. T. L. Moore. 


6. C. E. Sawyer, 

7. J. J. Woodward, 

8. L. M. Asbill, 

9. J. G. Guignard. 


10. H. R. Vandiver, 

11. R. W. Simpson, 

12. W. C. Brown, 

13. James L. Orr. 


14. Isaac S. Bamberg, 

15. John W. Holmes, 

16. Lr. W. Youmans, 

17. M. A. Rountree, 

18. Robert Aldrich. 


19. T. Hamilton, Rep. 

20. N. B. Myers, Rep. 

ft. J. C. Coit, 

22. D. T. Redfearn. 


23. H. E. Bissell, 

24. Wm. Maree, 

25. J. N. Cummings, 

26. L. E. Parler, 

27. Robert Jones. 


28. W. S. Allen, 

29. J. C. Sheppard, 

30. James Callison, 

31. T. E. Jennings, 

32. H. A. Shaw. 


33. J. F. Donald, 

34. J. Thos. Austin, 

35. J. W. Gray, 

36. J. L. Westmoreland. 


37. K D. Bryan, 

38. John R. Cooper. 


39. John B. Erwin, 

40. J. C. Blakeney. 


41. J. B. Humbert, 

42. J. W. Watts, 

43. D. W. Anderson. 


44. G. Leaphart, 

45. G. Muller. 


46. J. G. Blue, 

47. James McRea, 

48. R. H. Rodgers, 

49. J. P. Davis. 


50. Philip M. Hamer, 

51. Thos. M. Edens. 


52. S. S. Bridges, R. 


53. B. Frank Sloan, 

54. John S. Verner. 


55. W. H. Reedish, wh. Rep, 


56. D. F. Bradley, 

57. E. H. Bates. 


58. W. P. Compton, 

59. John W. Wofford, 

60. F. S. Allen, 

61. Charles Petty. 



W. J. H. Westberry. 

63. W. H. Wallace, Sp'r. 

64. G. D. Peake, 

65. Wm. Jeffries. 


66. A. E. Hutchison, 

67. J. A. Deal, 

68. W. E. Byers, 

69. B. H. Massey 

The Wallace House. Organized November 28, 1876. 

70. John T. Sloan, Clerk. 74. D. R. Elsins, Asst. Sergt.-at- 

71. W. McB. Sloan, Asst. Clerk. arms. 

72. W. R. Williams, Reading Cl'k. 75. L. N. Zealy, Door Keeper. 

73. J. D. Brown, Sergeant-at- 76. Judge Thompson H. Cooke, of 

arms. the Eighth Circuit, who ad- 

ministered the oath of office 
to the Members. 

Copyright Secured (1877) 


W. A. Reckling, 

Photographic Artist. 

Columbia, South Carolina. 

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